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Art in the Former Capital of the Episcopal Principality

Nysa. Art in the Former Capital of the Episcopal Principality

Nysa. Art in the Former Capital of the Episcopal Principality

Edited by Ryszard Hołownia and Mateusz Kapustka
Wrocław 2008

» Foreword
» Contens

» Book cover

Book cover (*.pdf)
Foreword, Contens (*.pdf)

Recenzent: Radek Fukala
Tłumaczenia streszczeń i słowa wstępnego na język angielski: Małgorzata Możdżyńska-Nawotka
Tłumaczenia streszczeń na język polski: Mateusz Kapustka
Projekt okładki: Barbara Kaczmarek

Na okładce wykorzystano ilustrację: Portret biskupa Karola Ferdynanda Wazy (1625-1655), koniec XVII w., biblioteka kolegium Jezuitów (gimnazjum Carolinum) w Nysie (fot. M. Kapustka)
© Copyright by Uniwersytet Wrocławski, 2008

Druk: Drukarnia JAK S, Wrocław, ul. Bogedaina 8 ISBN 978-83-925517-6-8

Publikacja zrealizowana przy udziale: Urzędu Miejskiego w Nysie oraz Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Herb Nysy                Logo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego     Logo Instytutu Historii Sztuki we Wrocławiu

Urząd Miejski w Nysie



The history of Nysa and its architectural monuments testify to the town′s once important position. The economic and cultural centre of a medieval castellany under the Piast rule, located in Silesia close to the border with Moravia, it became the temporal domain of the Prince-Bishops of Wrocław in the 1290s. This change of status effected the town′s rapid development from the 14th century. The first printed Chronicle of the World by Hartmann Schedel (1493) testifies to Nysa′s fame as it appears as one of only three towns in the territory of present Poland featured there alongside Wrocław and Kraków. Nysa owned this privileged treatment not only to its size and potential but first of all to the elevated position of the ruling princebishop and his wide European connections. Over the centuries, the ecclesiastical lords of Nysa contributed to its development and shaped its image as the centre of the episcopal principality.

In the Early Modern era, marked by the progress of the Reformation, Nysa′s position grew as it became the regional centre for educating Catholic clergy and a residence of prince-bishops who had turned into distinguished patrons of humanism. Nysa flourished again in the 1st quarter of the 17th century as the Counter-Reformation gathered momentum in Silesia under the auspices of the illustrious prince-bishops who were scions of mighty European royal dynasties: the Habsburgs, Vasas, Wittelsbachs, and landgraves of Hessia. The enlightened lords of Nysa embarked upon a number of monumental projects in the area of education, science, public health and culture, including the establishment of the Jesuit College and the successive bishops′ generous patronage of the arts. Their efforts have shaped the urban space although some of the monuments were since unfortunately destroyed during the Silesian Wars in the 18th century and World War II in the 20th century.

The end to the temporal rule of the Bishops of Wrocław in Nysa came as a result of the annexation of Silesia (with the majority of the episcopal principality′s territory) by Prussia in 1742. This resulted in Nysa′s losing its supraregional status and unique position of the Catholic centre in the predominantly Protestant region. It would no longer enjoy its previous position as the centre of the episcopal principality exercising political autonomy and benefiting from the special privileges granted by the Habsburg Emperors to the Catholic Church. Nysa was then reduced to a garrison town within the militarized structure of the Prussian state of the Hohenzollerns. From then on for more than 150 years, the Prussian state administration continued to develop Nysa as a fortress-town. Thus, the Silesian Wars of the 18th century had resulted not only in the change of the political allegiance of the region but also in the reduced status of Nysa which became a mere provincial town despite the gradual modernization of its urban tissue in the era of dynamic social, economic and ideological transformations in the 19th and 20th century. The Silesian Wars in the 18th century and World War II in the 20th century caused considerable damage to Nysa′s monuments: particularly painful was the destruction of the town′s historical layout in 1945, further aggravated by postwar demolitions. Despite later reconstruction and conservation projects, they have left a number of discontinuities in the once tight development and resulted in the architectural and functional degradation of the O ld Town. Some rather unfortunate modern developments within the historical town centre detract from its original layout and urban function.

Nevertheless, the golden age of Nysa has left splendid works of art: architectural monuments, works of sculpture and painting, and the decorative arts. Particularly famous were local gold- and silversmiths. These works represent a variety of styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerism, and Baroque. The period after 1741 is also documented by a number of monuments and works of art. The collections of the local Museum (presently displayed in the former Episcopal Palace), gathered from the late 19th century, also testify to the elevated position of Nysa as the centre of the arts.

Scholarly literature on Nysa, writings of mostly German authors before 1945 and studies by distinguished Polish art historians published after 1945, have provided a solid basis for the town′s monographers and scholars interested in the cultural history of Silesia. Some important recent discoveries and new attributions, conservation projects and monographic studies on Nysa′s most significant monuments have delivered a new impulse and encouragement to present these newest scholarly and conservation achievements. The opening to the public of the Treasury of the Church of St James in Nysa, one of the most splendid ecclesiastical collections in Silesia, in 2005 provided an additional stimulus to stage a forum for art and cultural historians to exchange their discoveries and ideas.

In October 2005, the Institute of Art History at the University of Wrocław in collaboration with the Museum in Nysa and the local Roman Catholic Parish of St James organized an international conference devoted to Nysa. Art in the Former Capital of the Episcopal Principality. It spanned the period from the Middle Ages to the 19th century with a special focus on the foundations of the Prince- Bishops in the former Principality of Nysa. The conference addressed the art of Nysa in its European context in terms of style, typology, biographies of the artists, patronage and collecting. Also, a number of papers focused on individual monuments, ecclesiastical as well as secular, were presented in reference to their form, iconography and original functions. The parish Church of St James occupied a special position in this context as a venue of numerous foundations of the bishops and local burghers. Some papers were devoted to the Prince-Bishops and their patronage of the arts as well as the intentions and ideas shaping the visual representation of their power in life and death. The ensuing lively discussion let the participants confront their ideas and opinions and contributed to the final form of the articles contained in the present volume.

Presenting the readers with the conference volume, we hope that it encourages and inspires further research. We are well aware that it does not cover all important issues related to the art and culture of Nysa or present a comprehensive review of all that has been accomplished in the field. The papers reflect the current state of research and the contributing authors′ particular research interests. Thus assembled, they suggest a need for comprehensive monographic studies, including in-depth analysis of extant works and investigative research concerning nolonger- extant or missing works, as a necessary preparatory stage before attempting a broader synthesis. In particular, the connections between the Jesuit College in Nysa and the episcopal court in the area of artistic and cultural initiatives require further study as does the art of the last three decades of the 19th century and early 20th century from the perspective of stylistic traditions and the cultural identity of the region. The conservation and protection of historical monuments after 1945 and the role of the local Museum in the process also merit scholarly attention. Key problems signaled during the conference should be addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective. Future research should focus on the identity of the town, its genius loci and the specific character of the art of Nysa as the centre of the episcopal principality.

The amassed collections of local art and ongoing efforts to cultivate the rich artistic heritage of Nysa define its position on the cultural map of Poland and Europe. The values encoded in Nysa′s urban layout, imposing monuments and their precious interiors, and the panorama of the town punctuated with splendid architectural dominants define the context and framework of reference for the process of reintegrating the town centre, in its spatial and visual aspects, and shape the local identity of its population. The territory of the former Episcopal Principality of Nysa, today spreading on both sides of the Polish-Czech border, emerges as a natural venue for international regional cooperation. We hope that the present volume would foster a better understanding of the semantics of this special place and at the same time illuminate the genesis of Nysa′s artistic heritage and give the reader a more clear idea of the present town′s cultural roots.

The Editors


Słowo wstępne

Miasto i fara
The Town and Its Parish Church

Rafał Eysymontt
Nysa w średniowieczu. Między Gandawą a Opawą
Between Ghent and Opava: Nysa in the Middle Ages

Klara Kaczmarek -Löw
Architektura miast księstwa nyskiego na przełomie XV i XVI wieku. Wybrane
Architecture of the Towns in the Episcopal Principality of Nysa in the Late 15th-early 16th c.

Grzeg orz Podruczny
Budownictwo wojskowe w N ysie w latach 1742-1807
Military Architecture in Nysa in the Period of 1742-1807

Jarosław Jarzewicz
Biskupi i mieszczański - kościół św. Jakuba w N ysie
The Church of St James in Nysa: Between the Bishop and Burghers

Bogusław Czechowicz
Nyski kościół św. Jakuba jako collegium apostolorum i ecclesia primitiva
The Church of St James in Nysa as the collegium apostolorum and ecclesia primitiva

Ewa Wółkiewicz
Okoliczności fundacji XV-wiecznej nastawy ołtarza głównego w kościele
św. Jakuba w Nysie
Circumstances Surrounding the Foundation of the 15th-century Retable of the High Altar
at the Church of St James in Nysa

Alek sandra Szewczyk, Jacek Witkowski
Gotycki ołtarz główny kościoła św. Jakuba w Nysie - dzieło Mistrza Wilhelma
z Akwizgranu
Gothic High Altarpiece from the Church of St James in Nysa - the Work of Master Wilhelm
of Aachen

Tomasz Mikołajczak
Reditio in Otmuchaw, czyli kilka uwag na temat pierwotnego charakteru nagrobka biskupa wrocławskiego Wacława (†1419)
Reditio in Otmuchaw. Notes on the Original Character of the Tomb of Bishop Wenceslaus of Wrocław (d. 1419)

Alek sandra Szewczyk
Qui Lazarum resuscitasti... Kaplica biskupa Baltazara von Promnitz (1539- 1562) w kościele p.w. św. Jakuba w Nysie
Qui Lazarum resuscitasti... The Funerary Chapel of Bishop Balthasar von Promnitz (1539-1562) at the Church of St James in Nysa

Ryszard Hołownia
Pod egidą kardynała Fryderyka Heskiego. Barokizacja kościoła św. Jakuba w Nysie w 4 ćw. XVII wieku
Under the Auspices of Cardinal Friedrich von Hessen-Darmstadt. Remodelling of the Church of St James in Nysa in the Baroque Style in the 4th Quarter of the 17th c.

Dariusz Galewski
Uwagi na temat osiemnastowiecznego etapu barokizacji kościoła św. Jakuba w N ysie
Notes on the 18th-century Phase of the Remodelling of the Church of St James in Nysa in the Baroque Style

Biskup i książę - wizerunek mecenasa
Bishop and Prince: Image of the Patron

Renate Schreiber
Erzherzog Leopold Wilhelm - Bischof und Mäzen
Arcyksiążę Leopold Wilhelm - biskup i mecenas

Gerhard Lutz
Fürstbischof Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg uns seine Residenz Neisse
Książę-biskup Franciszek Ludwik von Pfalz-Neuburg i jego nyska rezydencja

Anna Śliwowska
Ingressus i exequiae - dwa typy uroczystości uświetniających początek i koniec
panowania biskupa wrocławskiego na wybranych przykładach z okresu od XVI do początku XVII wieku
Ingressus and exequiae: Ceremonies Marking the Beginning and End of the Bishop′s Rule on Selected Examples from the 16th - early 18th Century

Magdalena Karnicka
Monety dukatowe i talarowe oraz medale biskupów wrocławskich powstałe w okresie od XVI do XVII wieku w zbiorach Muzeum Narodowego we W rocławiu
Ducat and Thaler Coins and Medals of the Bishops of Wrocław from the 16th-18th c. in the Collection of the National Museum in Wrocław

Sztuka w s łużbie kontrreformacji
Art in the Service of the Counter-Reformation

Romuald Kaczmarek
Figurka Matki Boskiej z Dzieciątkiem z kościoła jezuitów w Nysie. O zapomnianym kulcie Notre-Dame de Foy na Śląsku
The Statuette of the Virgin and Child from the Jesuit Church in Nysa. A Note on the Forgotten Cult of the Notre-Dame de Foy in Silesia

Mateusz Kapustka
Róże, lilie i pruskie armaty. Nyska świątynia Maria in Rosis w wojennej poetyce kontrreformacyjnego Kościoła
Roses, Lilies and Prussian Guns. The Maria in Rosis Church in Nysa in Warlike Counter-Reformation Rhetoric of the Catholic Church

Marie Schenková
Několik slov k historii poutního kostela Panny Marie na Riemerbergu
Notes on the history of the Pilgrimage Church of St Mary on Riemerberg Mountain

Dzieła - artyści - kolekcjonerzy
Artworks - Artists - Collectors

Arkadiusz Muła
Nieznane obrazy o tematyce mitologicznej z auli gimnazjum Carolinum w Nysie
Unknown Mythological Paintings at the Aula of the Carolinum Jesuit Gymnasium in Nysa

Magdalena Palica
Kilka słów o kolekcji hrabiów Matuschków z Biechowa koło Nysy, czyli przyczynek do badań nad śląskim kolekcjonerstwem
On the Collection of the Counts Matuschka of Biechów by Nysa: a Note on the History of Collecting in Silesia

Spis ilustracji / List of illustrations
Spis tablic barwnych / List of colour plates