A special exhibition commemorating the Polish victory over the Bolsheviks in the year 1920 has been opened at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. 100 years ago, the Polish Army led by Józef Piłsudski stopped the Bolshevik revolution from spreading to Europe in the famous Battle of Warsaw, which is considered to be the 18th most decisive battle in the history of the world.
The painting by Jan Henryk Rosen, entitled “Poland – the mother of saints and shield of Christians”, painted in 1936, was presented today at the exhibition “With the cross and sabre”, at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The painting shows 11 important figures from Polish history.
“This is st. Jan Kanty, next to him is Jan Kochanowski, then cardinal Stanisław Ledóchowski, st. Józef Ata and st. Stanisław Kostka. In the middle we have the panorama of the Wawel hill, based on an image from the XVII century. Then, we have the image of Father Ignacy Skorupka held by a Polish soldier. Next to them, there are two great commanders – king Jan III Sobieski and Józef Piłsudski, as well as a drummer which gives a sort of melody to the entire piece”, said Dr Mariusz Klarecki, an art historia, at the presentation of the painting.
The painting was created using three crayons on cardboard, a technique which is characteristic for the XVII and XVIII centuries. Jan Henryk Rosen used this technique to finish the work in a short time, as he was obliged to deliver it to the Vatican city on short notice.
The painting returned to Poland thanks to cardinal Stefan Wyszyński.
“Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński brought this painting with him from Rome, in unexplained circumstances. During the communist era in Poland, the episcopate had the privilege of having a train car excerpt from border control once per year. Usually, the Church used it to transport Bibles and other materials helpful in teaching religion. Cardinal Wyszyński must have taken the painting with him that way”, said prof. Wojciech Fałkowski, the director of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
The exhibition is on display at the Royal Library of the Royal Castle in Warsaw until September 27th.