OŁTARZ PANNY MARII Z WITOSZYNA DZIEŁEM MISTRZA Z GOŚCISZOWIC
THE ALTAR OF THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY IN WITOSZYN A WORK BY THE MASTER OF GOŚCISZOWICE
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The author analysed the style, construction and conservation-restoration of the Gothic altar in the church in Witoszyn. The altar in question is a pentaptych of the Santa Conversazione type. The central figure of the Madonna and Child is flanked by two figures of saints. The original elements of the altar include a central compartment with sculptures depicting St. Augustine and St. Andrew as well as folding sidewings with painted likenesses of St. Valentine and St. Roch on the reverse, a sculpture of St. Anne with two other figures on the obverse of the right wing, and a painted predella. The crowning with a full sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel, the outer wings featuring portraits of St. Jadwiga and St. Elizabeth, the socle, the tabernaculum, and the front part of the antependium originate from the period of the reconstruction of the altar, performed in 1909 by the painter Baecker and the woodcarver Bemsten. The altar was first mentioned in 1687-1688, when it was situated in church of St. Anne in Lutynka (German: Leuthen). A record of the altar from the period when it was already in the church in Witoszyn (German: Hartmannsdorf) appeared in a catalogue of historical monuments from 1905-1912. In 1909 the altar was renovated, and successive conservation took place in 1987. During the 1990s several sculptures were stolen, of which only the depiction of St. Anne was found several years ago and returned to its original place. The remaining figures were supplanted with copies. The procedure of dating the altar posed numerous difficulties owing to a mistaken deciphering of the date found on the object. Ultimately, the year 1517 was recognised as appropriate for the altar's origin. The date of the foundation of the altar and its technology have been determined. The author also discussed the course of the conservation and restoration as well as the reasons for the original damage. The date of origin and stylistic features enabled the author to place the Witoszyn altar amongst objects ecuted in the workshop of the Master of Gościszowice, as well as to ascribe it to a later period in the artist’s oeuvre. The research part of the article discusses in detail investigations dealing with the technical construction of the altar: an analysis of the surface in ViS, IR and UV, a microscope analysis in ViS and UV, microchemical research, and an X-ray fluorescence analysis of samples. The next phase involved establishing the applied techniques and technology. The article subsequently considers the course of conservation and restoration, and the reasons for the damage, the most dangerous being the extensive detachment of the canvas, ground and polychrome from the wooden base. The main causewere sudden and uncontrolled changes in humidity and temperature inside the church. The research led to a complete conservation of the whole altar, including the neo-Gothic elements. The altar was moved from the wall, which it originally adjoined, an anti-humidity barrier was installed on its back, and directives were given for making the ventilation ducts passable.
- dr hab., konserwator malarstwa i rzeźby polichromowanej, jest pracownikiem naukowym Zakładu Konserwacji Malarstwa i Rzeźby Polichromowanej Instytutu Zabytkoznawstwa i Konserwatorstwa Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu. Ma na swoim koncie artykuły w czasopismach i publikacjach naukowych poświęcone konserwacji malarstwa sztalugowego i ściennego oraz rzeźby polichromowanej. Jest wykonawcą wielu realizacji konserwatorskich. Zajmuje się głównie zagadnieniami badawczo-konserwatorskimi malarstwa XIX i XX wieku.
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