Propaganda reform burmistrza Henryka Strobanda w dekoracji Sali Rady z 1603 r. w ratuszu staromiejskim w Toruniu
The propaganda of the mayor Henryk Stroband’s reforms in the decorations of the Council Room from 1603 in the Town Hall in Torun
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The painted decoration in the Council Room in Torun’s Town Hall, not preserved but known from detailed descriptions, arises interest thanks to its iconographic programme. It was commissioned by the Council of the Town in 1603 and made by the Gdansk painter Anton Möller. The author of the decoration was the mayor Henryk Stroband – a very well-educated man, outstanding politician and initiator of numerous reforms conducted in the town. The collection of paintings had a very extensive and original programme – it consisted of twelve tables, including two corresponding tabula emblematica with exemplae which illustrated them. Each table was provided with a plate saying what the subject of the painting was. The collection of the paintings referred to the Roman ideal of the Law of the Twelve Tables, and was to evince virtues and values which governing men should take into account in their pursuit to create an ideal town. The decoration constituted a kind of hint for the members of the Town Council, which used to be a common subject of municipal buildings. What decided about the uniqueness of the Torun decoration was its actualization. The main topic of some tables was the presentation, and more specifically, the glorification of reforms conducted or planned in the town, which were initiated by the mayor Henryk Stroband. They presented i.e. plans concerning the modernization of town walls, the reform of the town secondary school (gymnasium), social problems – the care for the poor, preventing conflicts between social classes. The details of those reforms are known from Henryk Stroband’s diaries, in which he included his extended reformist concepts. Another interesting aspect was the choice of personifications and emblems as well as historical exemplae – coming from the Bible and ancient history, where besides commonly known motifs there appeared rare and original topics, which proves thorough education and considerable erudition of Henry Stroband and his co-workers, who were professors of the Torun gymnasium.
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