„Pomniki Krakowa” Maksymiliana i Stanisława Cerchów z tekstem Feliksa Kopery w 110 rocznicę wydawnictwa

Stanisława Opalińska,

Ewa Śnieżyńska-Stolot


Cracow’s Monuments, a three-volume publication completed in 1904, holds a special place among numerous publications about the monuments erected in Cracow in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. The authors of the illustrations were the Cerchas, father and son – Maksymilian (1818–1907) and Stanisław (1867–1919). The text, which was the first history of Polish art, was written by Feliks Kopera (1871–1952). Maksymilian was one of the painters who after the fire of Cracow in 1850 documented Cracow’s monuments in their drawings. He co-operated with the Department of Archeology and Fine Arts of the Cracow’s Scientific Society and together with Józef Łepkowski published Cracow’s Antiquities and Monuments. Stanisław Cercha was the third child of Maksymilan and Leokadia née Burdzińska. He studied painting at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts and Anton Ažbé’s school in Münich, where he was later employed (1891–1896). He was interested in archeology, ethnology and art history, he was a member of the Cracow’s History and Monuments Lovers’ Society and the Society for the Preservation of the Monuments of Art and Culture in Cracow, Committee of the Research into the Art History in Poland of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, he also co-operated with Committee of Anthropology and Archeology of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. Basing its presentation on the letters of Leokadia Cercha, the article discusses the history of the preparations for the publication of Cracow’s Monuments, which was subsidized by the Austrian – Hungarian Ministry of Education, the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cracow, National Parliament and Cracow’s City Council, and private people. From 1900 Cracow’s Monuments were published in a form of magazine series, as a whole they constitute three volumes encompassing Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. The core of the publication are the drawings depicting the tombstones from Cracow’s churches, there are also the images of churches and fragments of the old city buildings. They are printed with the use of Zink ink-free technology. The materials remaining after the publication were passed to the Archives of Old Files in Cracow (now National Archives, The Files of Maksymilian and Stanisław Cercha, classification number 29/1548: 1–1843). Some of the drawings included in Cracow’s Monuments are part of the collections of the National Museum in Cracow and Historical Museum of the City of Cracow.