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Polichromie Klasztor Cystersów Mogiła Kraków

Polychromies in the Cistercian Monastery in Mogiła in Krakow

Fresk na ścianie z ukrzyżowanym Chrystusem, Matką Bożą po lewej i apostołem po prawej, na niebieskim tle pod jasnym sklepieniem.

ul. Klasztorna 11, 31-979 Kraków Tourist region: Kraków i okolice

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The polychromies were created between 1538 and 1541 and are the last work of Stanisław Samostrzelnik, the most famous illuminator in the history of the Cistercians of Mogiła. He came from one of Krakow's middle-class families, and his surname was originally the name of an occupation denoting a maker of crossbows and bows. He joined the Cistercian Monastery in Mogiła, hence the term 'Brother Stanislaus of Mogiła'. He was active as a painter as early as 1506, and in the following years he made all types of paintings: easel paintings, murals and illuminated manuscripts. Samostrzelnik also decorated many codices. Most of these, however, can be found outside of Krakow.

As a preliminary remark, it should be noted that the arrival of the Cistercians in Mogiła and the construction of the church and monastery date back to 1222. The temple was built according to the rules of the Order, on the plan of a Latin cross, in the Cistercian Romanesque-Gothic style, using brick and stone, in accordance with the medieval custom with the main altar facing east. The church was consecrated on 5 May 1266 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Wenceslas. The original vaulting of the nave was rebuilt in Baroque style after the great fire of the church in 1708. The façade and the porch of the church were redesigned in 1780 by František Mosler from Opava. As for the legendary polychrome paintings, the walls of the church weren't originally plastered. In the days of abbot Erazm Ciołek, the entire interior of the church was plastered, and Brother Stanislaw Samostrzelnik (Cistercian of Mogiła) painted the biblical scenes (Annunciation in the presbytery and Crucifixion above the sacristy) and floral ornaments in the years 1536–1538. The frescoes in the Chapel of the Holy Cross date from the 18th century and depict Old Testament prophecies of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. The paintings on the vaults of the nave and side aisles were made by Jan Bukowski (d. 1943). The main altar is decorated with a polyptych from 1514. In its centre stands a statue of the Virgin and Child. The wings of the altarpiece depict scenes from the life of Mary, as well as scenes of the Passion of Christ (during Lent). The contemporary stained glass windows in the pointed-arch windows and one circular window were made in 1947 by T. Wojciechowski. They depict scenes from the lives of the Lord Jesus and His Mother. The stalls in the presbytery (the place where the monks pray) date from the 18th century. Four paintings depict Cistercian saints: Robert, Alberic, and Stephen (three founders of the Cistercians), and Bernard. In front of the presbytery there are 15th-century altars with 17th-century altarpieces with paintings currently depicting Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Blessed Wincenty Kadłubek (Bishop of Krakow, Cistercian from Jędrzejów, the first chronicler of Poland; d.1223). The four side chapels are dedicated to: St. Wenceslas and St. Joseph (behind the altar of the Miraculous Lord Jesus) and St. Bernard and the Cistercian founder saints (by the sacristy). Contemporary stained glass windows in the chapels depict scenes from the lives of these saints.

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