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Exhibition: Not Only the Orient. Acquisitions of the Teresa Sahakian ...

published: 2017-12-17 17:23:41, Culture Department
Exhibition: Not Only the Orient. Acquisitions of the Teresa Sahakian Foundation 2007–2017 - at the Royal Castle
Zamek Królewski - pl. Zamkowy 4 (mapa)
Zamek Królewski
free admission
Zamek Królewski
picture from kulturalna dot warszawa dot pl

The exhibition of artworks acquired for the Teresa Sahakian Foundation in the last decade, gathers many unique objects enriching not only the collections of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, but also enhancing the value of Polish public collections. Thanks to them, not only the existing collections were supplemented, but also new ones were formed. The exhibition is an expression of acknolegments and tribute to the Donator.

All her life the founder, Teresa Sahakian, was very strongly connected to her home country and in love with Warsaw. She belonged to a group of the most generous donors of the Royal Castle in Warsaw. She supported our institution during reconstruction and interior decoration. In 1989 and 1991, she donated an excellent collection of eastern carpets and, over time, numerous works of oriental and western decorative art. In her will, she bequethed the rest of her artistic collections and all her property to the Foundation.

Thanks to the acquisitions of the last decade the collection of the Teresa Sahakian Foundation, known primarily for over 600 oriental carpets and textiles of international importance, has not only been supplemented with other historical oriental fabrics, but also enriched by a very interesting accumulation of European art works, including those of Polish origin.

Among the paintings we should mention the Portrait of Jan Potocki by Anton Graff. It is an image of a traveler, scholar and writer and most likelythe portait came from Łańcut in 1944. Three other artworks represent interesting allegorical paintings from the beginning of the seventeenth century related to Hermann Hahn (1580-1624): An Allegory of the World, An Allegory of Wealth with the View of Gdańsk and An Allegory of Humility.

The most outstanding sculptural works in the Foundation's collection include high-class examples of a polychrome wooden sculpture from the beginning of the sixteenth century: a scene of Circumcision made in Antwerp, probably in the studio of Jan de Molder, and a group of The Crucifixion from a Dutch or German workshop. The figure of Christ crucified Christo vivo is extremely interesting. It is made from one piece of ivory. It owes its uniqueness to, among other features, the unusual scale (figure measures 75 cm).

Over the last decade of the Foundation's activity its collection of textiles has also significantly expanded. From the collection of the Founder comes the set of oriental carpets, interesting zili and verni textiles as well as embroidered suzani fabrics. The collection was also enriched by a set of Polish fabrics and those connected with Poland. Among them a group of five silk noble sashes should be mentioned. Three of them come from the manufactory in Słuck (1767-1780), one was made in an unidentified workshop, another one in Lyon.

Particularly interesting is a fragment of a tent wall from the first half of the eighteenth century, originating from the Lviv collection of Władysław Łoziński. This piece was made in the so-called cloth mosaic technique. The tent was made in one of the factories operating in the Borderlands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (e.g. Brody or Lviv).

In a group of furniture in the Foundation's collection there are extremely valuable pieces, mostly seventeenth and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish. These include two Dutch cupboards (1630-1650): one of the beeldenkast type with a rich sculptural decoration of symbolic meaning, with allegorical figures and door panels presenting scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist, the second, two-door, classicizing, with a uniform decoration in the form of panels.
Very interesting is as well is a linen press with a rich bas-relief decoration revealing the influence of the Genoa woodcarving, created perhaps in Antwerp circa 1650.

This furniture group also includes Flamish and Dutch armchairs and a Dutch folding table in ebony veneer with ivory plaques.
The collection includes a work & writing table made in the 1770s by an ébéniste of Paris, Étienne Avril. Before 1939 this object belonged to the Potocki family collection in Łańcut.

The ceramics from the Foundation’s collection consist of faience figurines from the series Allegories of the Four Seasons (Delft, second half of the eighteenth century) and a homogeneous in form and decoration set of 32 Italian majolica plates from Montelupo, constituting a group well illustrating the evolution of the so-called istoriato style over the years 1600-1670.

Among the silver pieces we should mention two Gdańsk silver tankards, one with the scene of Jephthah's Return by Benedict Clausen and by Conrad Jacob Keseberg with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Both belong to the group of the most magnificent and technically finest Gdańsk tankards with continuous repoussé decoration.

The Foundation's collection includes 17 clocks. The value of the set is testified in the number of obtained pieces, their quality and their representativeness for the cultural space, allowing for accurate reading of trends and technological changes.

The oldest in the collection - the Wrocław (Breslau) clock in tower form, from the third quarter of the seventeenth century, signed by the watchmaker Johann Wüttkei. It combines a great wachmaking craftsmanship with a mastery decoration. The other clocks represent eighteenth-century tile clocks from Gdańsk, Toruń, Poznań, Kraków, Lublin, Warsaw and Lviv, with a similar form, but differing details of decorative motifs and constructional solutions. The two carriage clocks in the collection are an example of high-class Wrocław craftsmanship (around 1750) and Cracow (second half of the eighteenth century).
The collection of the Teresa Sahakian Foundation’s acquisitions from 2007-2017, presented at the exhibition gathers many exceptional objects. Acquiring them is very important for the future operation of the Foundation. It gives the opportunity of creating a new, multi-layered individual collection, supplementing them and creating new ones, the origins of which have been formed in the last decade.

Katarzyna Podłujan curator of the exhibition

Source: Organizer