CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Tilman van Gameren in Warsaw

Tilman van Gameren, who eventually adopted the name of Tylman Gamerski, was a Dutch architect born in Utrecht in 1632. He traveled to Venice at the age of eighteen and lived there for ten years before moving to Poland at the invitation of Prince Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski. He became the court architect to King Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki, later also working for King Jan Sobieski III and his wife Queen Marie Casimire. In addition to numerous palaces, churches, and villas in and around Warsaw, he designed gardens and decorations for interiors, from fences and ceilings to mantelpieces and floors. He was an important figure in the Polish Baroque, producing designs that combined the ideas of his Dutch predecessors (Jacob van Campen, Pieter Vingboons, and Pieter Post) with influences from Italian classical principles of architecture (such as Palladio and Scamozzi). In designing interiors, he generally took his cue from the latest fashion in France.

Professor Stanisław Mossakowski published his in-depth study of Tilman van Gameren’s work in 1973. But it was not until 1994, with the appearance of the book’s German translation, that the architect finally became known outside of Poland. This eventually culminated in the organization of an exhibition at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam and the Royal Castle in Warsaw in 2002 and 2003. Warsaw’s University Library possesses a comprehensive archive of Van Gameren’s original drawings, from sketches to the final designs, which is very unusual in the case of a seventeenth-century architect. Tilman van Gameren was raised to the nobility and died in Warsaw in 1706.

We will devote attention to this remarkable figure in Dutch-Polish history as part of CODART TWINTIG by organizing a walking tour around the city on Tuesday afternoon. Our guide, an expert on the subject, will show you several of the palaces and churches that Van Gameren designed. You can also view his drawings during the excursion to the Warsaw University Library. If you have some free time, you might want to consider taking a bus to see the Bernadine Church in Czerniaków, which was also designed by Van Gameren.