O portretach Rembrandta z Zamku Królewskiego w Warszawie – analiza przedstawienia a zdefiniowanie tematu i określenie sportretowanych osób

Maciej Dariusz Kossowski

Abstrakt

About portraits of Rembrandt from the Royal Castle in Warsaw analysis of the presentation, defining the subject and determining the portrayed

In trubute to the blessed memory of Professor Karolina Lanckorońska

The iconographic analysis of both portraits in the context of the adopted nomenclature and interpretation of the presentation, the recognition of the symbolic meaning and the anthropological type of portraits give the basis for clarifying the subject. The determination of racial affiliation attests the previous provenance.

The formal features of the composition and the fact of the secondary cutting of the boards do not speak in favour of the pendant of both paintings. Other properties and conditions – much more important than the format of the canvas, the scale of figures and their mutual orientation – prove the connection between both portraits from the moment of their creation. They are the typological features of portrayed persons, the symbolic meaning of images and the context of their realisation. These disqualify the assignment of the portraits to the tronie type. The portraits are, therefore, a pair, although they were created separately.

In the 17th century they belonged to John III Sobieski. They were part of the royal collection of paintings and decorated the king’s bedroom in Wilanów Palace. They were recorded in the General Inventory of 1696. In this inventory, the title of the male portrait – “portrait of a Portuguese rabbi” – draws attention.

The anthropological analysis confirms that both portraits show representatives of Sephardic Jews. This group originally lived in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. They came to

Poland in large numbers only in the 17th century. They differed physically from the Ashkenazi Jews who had arrived in Central Europe earlier. In 1696, he was accurately portrayed as the “Portuguese rabbi” because he presents features typical of the Sephardic population. The name given in the inventory from 1696 corresponded to the image identified in the portrait. It provides convincing evidence that John III Sobieski had both of the Rembrandt portraits in his collection.

The man in a portrait is probably about 60 years old. The girl is probably 15–17 years old. Their filiation is obvious. Several similarities clearly indicate a close family relationship. The determined age difference of 45 years does not preclude paternity.

Since both images were never separated, they can be described as the Sephardic Rabbi in the lectern and the Jewess in the beret (Rabbi’s daughter), which would consider the record tradition in the inventory from 1696 and would be a fairly close reference to the defined topic.

Słowa kluczowe: analiza ikonograficzna portretów Rembrandta z Zamku Królewskiego w Warszawie, wymowa symboliczna portretów, analiza antropologiczna sportretowanych osób, nazwa dla obu dzieł w kontekście rozpoznanego przedstawienia , iconographic analysis of the portraits of Rembrandt from the Royal Castle in Warsaw, symbolism of portraits, anthropological analysis of portrayed persons, name for both works in the context of the recognised presentation
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