SACRAL ART AT THE RESIDENCE MUSEUM AND THE BAVARIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM IN MUNICH AND THE DIOCESAN MUSEUM IN FREISING. THE JOY STEMMING FROM ADMIRING WORKS OF ART BRINGS THE VIEWER CLOSER TO GOD (Polish title - below)
(Title in Polish - 'Sztuka sakralna w Muzeum Rezydencji i Bawarskim Muzeum Narodowym w Monachium oraz Muzeum Diecezjalnym we Fryndze. Radosc plynaca z podziwiania dziel sztuki zbliza patrzacego do Boga'). Sacral art featured in the vast collections of three Bavarian museums: the Residence Museum and the Bavarian National Museum in Munich and the Diocesan Museum in Freising testifies to the profound impact exerted by the Catholic creed on the history of Bavaria. The religiosity of the Renaissance-era rulers, members of the Wittelsbach dynasty - Albrecht V brought over the Jesuits and Maximilian I propounded the Marian cult - left behind numerous important traces, especially at the Residenz, the seat of the Bavarian dukes, electors and kings from Wittelsbach dynasty. The Residence Museum is located in the very heart of Munich and has been conceived as an exposition of interiors from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century, encompassing magnificent collections of furniture, fabric, painting, porcelain and gold artefacts. The museum was opened to the public in 1920, when the Duchy of Bavaria ceased to exist in the wake of the first world war. The organisers attempted to recreate the atmosphere of a residence to the very last moment inhabited by its owners. The Residence Museum and the Residence Treasury feature numerous exhibits with 'a Polish past'. The majority originates from the dowry of the Polish Princess Anna Katarzyna Konstancja (1619-1651), the daughter of King Zygmunt III Vasa of Poland. The exhibits can be identified thanks to the displayed initials: ACC - Anna Catharina Constantia, and ACCPPS - Anna Catharina Constantia Principissa Poloniae Sueciae. The Bavarian National Museum, founded in the second half of the nineteenth century, is situated in Prinzregentenstrasse. The seat of the Museum is composed of several buildings, each erected in a different style. This feature is to render the visitors aware of the great variety of the collection, one of the most significant in Europe and spanning from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The museum is particularly proud of its Gothic collections, from 1250 to about 1530, including more than ten canvases by Jan Polak (1435-1519). Although there is no archival proof, it is acknowledged that Polak came to Munich from Cracow, where he was born and trained. In 1482-1519 Jan Polak played a decisive role in the artistic life of Munich, and his workshop produced altars, the most prominent in Munich at the time. The Diocesan Museum lies in Freising, to the north of Munich. Its imposing collections, which at present total more than 16 000 exhibits, are considered one of the most numerous examples of sacral art in Germany and Europe. All express one of the Church teachings, namely, that earthly beauty is the image of the beauty of God. The museum programme, from the Romanesque period to the Rococo, features sacral art in painting, sculpture, medals and coins as well as folk art. Other copious collections include Church fabrics - Mass vestments and chasubles - and contemporary art. The polonica consist of a silver statue of St. Benon, a valuable silver reliquary commissioned by King Zygmunt III Vasa in 1625 (on show in a glassed-in wall niche of the Treasury) and, among the paintings of Munich masters, the works of Jan Polak.
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