CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide


Preliminary program as of 16 April 2004. Subject to change.

As rich and fascinating as are the holdings of Dutch and Flemish art in Poland today, the history of the subject is largely a tale of past glory. In the mid-16th century the Jagellonians ruled over a kingdom that stretched from Western Prussia to the Black Sea, maintaining a capital in Kraków and a power base at Wawel Castle, that were far more sophisticated than any court further east. The Flemish tapestries in Wawel form to this day one of the greatest ensembles of its kind in the world. Concerning the collecting of paintings by the Jagellonians there is a contradiction in the secondary sources. Jan Białostocki and Michal Walicki remark with regret in their overview of the history of painting collecting in Poland from 1957 that the powerful late Jagellonians, who spent fortunes on palaces and jewelry and tapestries, showed no detectable interest in painting. A different tone was struck in 1988, in the exhibition catalogue Europäische Malerei des Barock, which traveled to Braunschweig, Utrecht, Munich and Cologne. In her introduction, Janina Michalkowa reports that the 16th-century palace was adorned with paintings, mainly Italian paintings, which however were destroyed in the fires of 1595 and 1702. Be that as it may, not a single painting can today be traced to that legendary house.

That the succeeding dynasty of the Wasas did collect on a lavish scale is no cause for lasting joy in Poland. The holdings they accumulated were lost in even more annoying ways than fires. In 1655 Swedish armies occupied Poland, dragging off, as Michalkowa puts it, anything that was draggable: furniture, sculptures, paintings, marble. When the last Wasa abdicated in 1672, he took his collection with him to France, where 150 paintings were sold for a song and dispersed. The collections of the Sobieski kings ended up in Rome, those of the Saxons in Dresden, and of the Poniatowskis, including 2000 paintings, in miscellaneous sales.

Striking and long-lasting artistic ties between Poland and the Netherlands, prominent to this day, came about through the presence in Poland of architects and designers from the Lowlands. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the harbor city of Gdańsk employed Flemings and Dutchmen for the construction of their fortifications, city gates and public buildings. The decorations were marvels of intellectual and artistic sophistication, and they have been better preserved than any comparable ensembles in the Netherlands or Flanders. The large-scale presence in Gdańsk of builders from the Netherlands forms part of a broader historical development, which has been described as such by the American historian Richard Unger: “In the 17th century, the Dutch Republic was able to dominate politics in the states surrounding the Baltic. Infrequent expeditions by the Dutch navy were more than enough to control events because states and rulers in northeastern Europe proved willing to act as surrogates for the Republic…. The peoples of northeastern Europe relied on the Netherlands for economic success, technological advance and cultural change. This gives greater meaning to the dissemination of Dutch art in Poland than is covered by the history of art collecting and patronage alone. It adds resonance to the CODART project and emotional depth to the study trip.

Dutch-Polish artistic relations of the 17th century are exemplified at the highest level in the figure of the architect Tilman van Gameren (1632 – 1706). Van Gameren, one of the foremost Polish architects of the 17th century, was born in Utrcht in 1632. In 1661 he was working in Venice, reportedly as a painter of battle scenes. In that year he was invited to come to Poland by Prince Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski. He spent the rest of his life in the service of the Lubomirskis, one of the most important of Polish magnate families, creating royal, military, ecclesiastical, agricultural, horticultural and civic commissions throughout his adopted country. It was through the skills and industriousness of this Dutch architect that Poland came into a heritage of internationally oriented classicist architecture, a movement that brought with it a European taste in art collecting as well.

When it came to building national art collections, it was patricians and patriots rather than potentates who took the lead. Michalkowa described the quite manic collecting behavior of wealthy Polish burgers and aristocrats. The Czartoryskis and Ossolinskis, in the 19th century, founded museums based on nationalistic premises. The establishments they and their heirs founded, in Kraków and Wrocław respectively, survive and flourish to this day, albeit in calmer ideological conditions. The art historian and diplomat Atanazy Raczynski built a splendid collection during his missions as legate of the King of Prussia. The palace in Berlin where it was preserved was demolished in 1884 to make way for the Reichstag. The paintings were then moved to five rooms of their own in the Nationalgalerie, but in 1903 the citizens of Posen held a campaign to build a museum on their own expense and succeeded in luring the collection back to Poland.

The founding in 1862 of the immense National Museum in Warsaw (until 1916 the Museum of Fine Arts) was a direct expression of Polish nationalism on the eve of the 1863 insurrection against Russia. The late date of founding did not prevent the museum from acquiring an important collection of Dutch and Flemish painting. Nearly symbolic of this is the oil sketch by the Fleming Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) for The apotheosis of Frederik Hendrik, still in the Oranjezaal in Huis ten Bosch, for which it was painted in 1652. The Jordaens – the artist is a favorite throughout Poland – was purchased by the Warsaw museum in 1871.

The CODART ZEVEN study trip will introduce participants to as much of this heritage as can be visited in the course of a week. Poland is a large country and travel from city to city takes much time. We are obliged to limit the trip to the three main cities for our purposes: Gdańsk, Warsaw and Kraków. The plan for the trip was outlined in considerable detail by Maciej Monkiewicz of the National Museum Warsaw, with the cooperation of colleagues throughout the country. In a preparatory visit by Gary Schwartz from 22 to 29 May 2003, most of the destinations were visited, and valuable personal contacts were made.

The most substantial and long-lasting product of the study trip is the exhibition of 130 Dutch and Flemish drawings from all over Poland being mounted in the National Museum in Warsaw to mark the trip. Maciej Monkiewicz organized this event, for which he is writing a scholarly catalogue that will introduce these important holdings to international art history for the first time. CODART considers itself privileged to have functioned as a stimulus for this enterprise.

The trip bears the marks of these intensive preparations and the enthusiasm with which Polish curators and museum directors greeted the plan to devote CODART ZEVEN to Dutch and Flemish art in their country. The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Warsaw too responded generously to an appeal for help. It is contributing toward the cost of producing the catalogue of the drawings exhibition in the National Museum in Warsaw, and is co-hosting a dinner for the participants and their Polish colleagues in Nieborów Palace.

No visit to Poland and its art treasures in the year 2004 can bypass the effects on the country of the Second World War. Gdańsk survived the war largely unharmed until the very last phase, in March 1945. At that point the Germans decided not to relinquish the city easily to the advancing Russian army, but to defend it to the end. As a result, some 95% of the historic center was destroyed. Following the war, Gdańsk took it upon itself as a matter of pride and defiance to reconstruct the city in as complete form as possible.

In Warsaw the damage was perpetrated by the Germans after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The damage to the historic center is estimated at 80% total loss, including the Royal Palace. The present Old Town and New Town, as well as many monuments in other parts of the city, were reconstructed under the Communist regime (1945-1989). The reconstruction allows for more liberties than that of Gdańsk, incorporating some new elements, such as the Memorial to Heroes of the Warsaw Uprising, which covers several acres of the New Town. The year before the Warsaw Uprising, the Ghetto Uprising had taken place, which sealed the tragic fate of the 700-year-old Jewish community of Poland. The former site of the Ghetto is now largely filled with postwar housing.

Speaking to Poles in Gdańsk and Warsaw about the architectural heritage of their country, their eyes light up when Kraków is mentioned. This ancient city, the seat of the Jagellonian dynasty, was left relatively untouched by the Second World War. Drenched in charm, Kraków is a magnet for both backpackers and well-off cultural tourists, making the Great Market something of a cross between the Campo de Fiori and the Piazza Navona in Rome. Ironically, however, Kraków is close to the place that has become the ultimate symbol of destruction in the Second World War, the destruction not of buildings but of human lives. 60 kilometers west of Kraków lies the death camp of Oşwiećim, Auschwitz. The study trip will offer participants an opportunity to touch bottom here following the end of the program.

The study trip will be accompanied by the former cultural attaché of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Warsaw, presently curator of modern art at the Hannema-de Stuers Fundatie: Gerdien Verschoor
Hannema-de Stuers Fundatie
Kasteel het Nijenhuis
8131 RD Heino/Wijhe
The Netherlands
T +31 572 391 434
F +31 572 393 515

Her participation assures that we will never come up against situations in which we are unable to communicate with our hosts. She has close personal acquaintance with all the destinations and curators we will visit, and knowledge concerning Polish history, culture and daily life that she will share with us on the trip, not to mention recommendations for shops, restaurants, theater, musical evenings and so forth.

Sunday, 18 April

17:45 Participants flying from Amsterdam meet at LOT ticket counter, terminal 1, desk row 6 at Schiphol Airport.
19:45-21:40 LOT Polish Airlines flight LO 268 from Amsterdam to Warsaw.
22:25-23:30 LOT Polish Airlines flight LO 3827 from Warsaw to Gdańsk.
23:45-24:00 Transfer from Gdańsk Airport to hotel.
Novotel Gdańsk Centrum
ul. Pszenna 1
PL-80749 Gdańsk
T +48 58 300 2750
F +48 58 300 2950

Gdańsk is a major CODART destination for more reasons than one. The import of Dutch and Flemish art went hand in hand with developments in trade, commerce, politics, military and civic architecture. Activity of artists from the Netherlands, especially Hans Vredeman de Vries, and architects like Anthonie van Obberghen, create a continuity in environment with the cities and fortresses of the Netherlands. The work of generations of local artists manifest these influences, which are visible in the galleries of the National Museum and the streets of the city. They exist in a constant interplay with elements from other European centers and with local traditions.

In addition, one of the immortal glories of Netherlandish art, Memling’s Last Judgment, has been in Gdańsk apparently since the 15th century, and is treated there with the highest regard. It may be the only single museum object in the world to have its own curator.

A visit to Gdańsk is full of poignancy. Nearly every building has been rebuilt after the devastation of the city by the Russians in 1945. The larger brick walls – Gdańsk has some of the biggest brick buildings in the world – are composed of historical chunks filled out with new, historicizing masonry. Those finished in stucco are often flat and uniform, conforming only in general form to the destroyed antecedent. Yet, the dedication of the city to rebuilding itself as it was is moving. In the hands of a sophisticated and ambitious man like Adam Koperkiewicz, director of the eight city museums, the Gdańsk project becomes a focus for thinking about the past in terms of the relation between physical remains and historical and present identity.

Monday, 19 April

9:10 Group meets in lobby of Novotel Gdańsk Centrum to walk to museum.
9:30-11:45 Muzeum Narodowe w Gdańsk (National Museum in Gdańsk)
ul. Toruńska 1
PL-80328 Gdańsk
T +48 58 301 7061
F +48 58 301 1125

Beata Purc-Stepniak, Curator of Old Masters in the National Museum in Gdansk.

We will be met by the curator of paintings, Beata Purc-Stepniak, who will introduce the museum to us and show us the way to the main foreign painting galleries, which are devoted to the Dutch and Flemish schools. Rembrandt’s masters are represented with a famous Virgil in hell by Jacob van Swanenburgh and an important pastoral by Pieter Lastman. The galleries show genre scenes by Adriaen van Ostade, Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch, portraits by Jan van Goyen and portraits by Ferdinand Bol and Nicolaes Maes, among a host of lesser works awaiting (re)attribution. One of the most striking paintings is an interior of the Oude Kerk in Delft by Cornelis de Man with a fictive bishop’s tomb inscribed with a bold legend in an imaginary alphabet.

More interesting for the study of the dispersal of Dutch and Flemish art are the rooms with the work of 16th- and 17th-century Gdańsk painters. In the first cabinet, the works of local painters alternate with those of the artists from the Netherlands from whom they derived their styles and techniques – Hans Vredeman de Vries and Isaac van der Blocke – and some contemporary and older Netherlandish paintings.

The curator of Hans Memling’s Last Judgment, Beata Sztyber, will show us that work, the most precious object in the museum. Ownership of the triptych is currently a matter of dispute in the city. It belonged to the Church of Our Lady until after the Second World War, when it was moved to the museum. The church is now trying to get it back, and the museum is resisting. In the museum it is displayed in a room of its own, so that it can be seen from all sides.

In the print room, Grazyna Zinówsko, curator of drawings, will show us a selection of works on paper, especially items from the famous collection of Jacob Kabrun (1759-1814), an eminent Gdańsk merchant, collector of drawings, prints and books, amateur artist, and benefactor of the Municipal Theatre. The drawings that were selected for the Warsaw exhibition, which has been postponed, will be available for study.

Gallery of Flemish and Dutch paintings in the National Museum in Gdańsk

11:45-12:15 Individual visit to the rest of the museum. The Gallery of Applied Arts will put up some pieces of Delftware and metalwork from the Netherlands, which were part of a recent exhibition. Well worth a look are the galleries of medieval and 15th-century art.

12:15-12:30 Walk from museum to Artus Hall for lunch in restaurant in the cellars of the Hall.

12:30-14:00 Lunch.

14:00-14:30 Walk to the Library of the Polish Academy.

14:30-15:30 Biblioteka Gdańska Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Gdańsk Library of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences)
ul. Wałowa 15
PL-80858 Gdańsk
T +48 58 301 2251
F +48 58 301 2970
The early 20th-century building lies on the eastern edge of the old city, and was one of the few grand institutions of Gdańsk that was not destroyed in the war. The institution was founded in 1596 as the library of the city council, with a collection of 1,300 volumes belonging to the Italian humanist Giovanni Bernardino Bonfacio, marquess of Oria (1517-1597). It now contains over 300,000 items, including about 800 incunabuli and more than 55,000 old prints. (From the booklet The Gdańsk Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences by Maria Babnis, published by the library in 1999.)

The significance of the Dutch holdings in the library was brought out in October 2000, with an exhibition and catalogue entitled Nie tylko o mapach: Holandia w zbiorach Biblioteki Gdańskiej Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Not only about maps: Holland in the collection of the Gdańsk Library of [the] Polish Academy of Science. The curator of the exhibition was Anna Wytyk. From the introduction: The “Gdańsk-Dutch relationship is presented not only in the context of import of books and atlases from the Netherlands but also in the context of exchange of scientific, technical (polders, windmills) and artistic ideas. In the 16th and 17th c. Europe was heading towards Gdańsk.”

The director is Maria Pelczar (E, who has worked in the library for half a century. In 1955 she was responsible for the transformation of the institution from a city library to one of the five independent branch libraries of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Dr. Pelczar will arrange for a display in the reading room of some of the 83 objects shown in the exhibition, supplemented with other items of interest to CODART, such as

Maria Pelczar unrolling a fax from Maciej Monkiewicz with the program of the CODART ZEVEN study trip to Poland.

  • copperplates by Willem Hondius for a series of prints concerning the history of Gdańsk. Hondius, who was born in The Hague c. 1597, lived for many years in Gdańsk from 1636 on. He seems to have died there c. 1652.
  • the privilege given to Dutch Mennonites to settle in Gdańsk.
  • the first history of Gdańsk, by Reinhold Curieke, printed in Amsterdam. The library has the only copy that was hand-colored at the time.
  • a choice of manuscripts, documents, atlases and books linking Gdańsk to the Netherlands.
  • a choice from among the ca. 100 prints by Dutch engravers and etchers. (A checklist will be provided in advance.)

Reading room of the Library of the National Academy in Gdansk.

The Upland Gate, Gdansk.

The Golden Gate, Gdansk.

15:30-:18:00 Walking tour of Gdańsk Old Town, in two groups, including visits to

  • Brama Wyżynna (Upland Gate, 1574-76), originally the main entrance to the city from land, behind a moat and offering passage through the formidable city wall. The Renaissance adornments are by the Antwerp architect-engineer Willem van den Blocke (before 1550-1628), and they are modelled on the gates of the Antwerp city wall.
  • Katownia (Torture Tower, a late medieval structure rebuilt in the late 16th century by the Flemish architect-engineer Anthonie van Obberghen (1543-1611)
  • Złota Brama (Golden Gate; 1612-1614). Replaces a medieval gate on the site. Designed in this form, an adaptation of the Roman triumphal arch, by the son of Willem van den Blocke, Abraham van den Blocke (1572?-1628).
  • Court of the Brotherhood of St. George (1487-1494).
  • Arsenał (Armory, 1600-1609), designed by Anthonie van Obberghen, with a façade by Abraham van den Blocke. The formal vocabulary is closely related to contemporary Dutch architecture. Now the School for Fine Arts, which called down the wrath of purists on its head by building a modern annex. In Beautiful historic Gdańsk, one of the sources for these notes, Lech Krzyżanowski wrote that the building “is not in keeping with the local architectural tradition and constitut[es] a foreign, aggressive intrusion into the panorama of the town.” One wonders what he would have written about the original Armory, a Renaissance building in Gothic Gdańsk, in 1610.
  • Fontanna Neptuna (Neptune’s fountain, early 17th century). “The design of the fountain is ascribed to Abraham van den Blocke, who was responsible not only for the details but also for its spatial relationship to the square, the communication routes, the views and the most important buildings” (Lech Krzyżanowski).
  • Złota Kamieniczka (Golden or Speimann House, 1609-1618)
  • Zielona Brama (Green Gate, 1564-1568)
  • Długie Pobrzeże (The Long Quay), with the Żuraw, the oldest surviving port crane in Europe (1442-1444)
  • Several churches, among them the Gothic St. Catherine’s Church with its 49-bell carillon.
  • Uphagen’s House (1775- 1787), a branch of the Museum of the History of the City of Gdańsk

18:40 Group gathers in lobby of hotel to leave for Artus Hall.

19:00-20:30 Reception in
Dwór Artusa (Artus Hall, or Court of King Arthur (1476-1481, façade rebuilt 1616-1617)
ul. Długi Targ 45
PL-80830 Gdańsk
T +48 58 301 4359

We will be received by the director of the eight Gdańsk city museums, Adam Koperkiewicz, who will fill us in on the history of the building and of the neighboring town hall as well as his projects for the future.

The Neptune Fountain, in front of Court of King Arthur, Gdansk.

In the Red Room of the former town hall of Gdansk, now the Historical Museum.

Adam Koperkiewicz, director of the Gdansk city museums.

Tuesday, 20 April

8:15 Check out of hotel, baggage in baggage room.

8:40 Meet in lobby for walk to town hall, where we will be met by Adam Koperkiewicz.
9:00-11:00 In two groups, visits to:

  • Town hall (14th-early 17th century, now the Museum of the History of the City of Gdańsk). Includes the superb Red (or Summer) Hall decorated with paintings on the walls (1594-96) by Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527-after 1605) and his son Paul Vredeman de Vries (1567-after 1630) and on the ceiling, in 1608, by Isaack van den Blocke (c. 1574-c. 1627). In this room one can imagine oneself at the court of Prince Maurits or of the Archdukes, none of whose residences have survived. The closest equivalent is Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, built by Flemish architects for Christian IV of Denmark.
  • Gothic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1343-1502), the largest brick church in Europe. In addition to altarpieces, epitaphs and tomb sculpture there are treasures such as a spectacular astronomical clock. with the Royal Chapel (1678-1681).

Former town hall of Gdansk, now the Historical Museum, and the Court of King Arthur.

Tower of the Church of Our Lady, Gdansk.

Polyptych in the Church of Our Lady, Gdansk.

Epitaph in the Church of Our Lady, Gdansk.

Tomb in the Church of Our Lady, Gdansk.

Astronomical clock with Madonna in the Church of St. Mary, Gdansk.

11:00-11:30 Group meets at Neptune Fountain in front of Artus Hall to walk back to the hotel, where participants put their baggage on the bus.
11:30 Bus leaves for Malbork Castle, with box lunch on bus.
Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku (Malbork Castle Museum)
ul. Starościńska 1
PL-82200 Malbork
T +48 55 6470800 -02
F +48 55 647 0803
The castle dates from the 134h century, when it was built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order. It was one of the largest and best equipped castles of Europe in its time, and its preservation, complete with large parts of the fortifications and the Palace of the Grand Master, is a wonder of our time.
15:00-19:30 Continuation of long bus ride to Warsaw.
19:30 Check in to hotel.
Novotel Warsaw Centrum
ul. Nowogrodzka 24/26
PL-00511 Warsaw
T +48 22 621 0271
F +48 22 625 0476
20:00 Dinner in hotel.

Wednesday, 21 April

8:15 Meet in lobby of hotel for bus to Wilanów.

Muzeum Pałac w Wilanowie (The Wilanów Palace Museum)
ul. Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16
PL-02958 Warszawa
T +48 22 842 8101, +48 22 842 4809
F +48 22 842 3116
E or


Panorama of Wilanow Palace Museum.

Evening promenaders on banks of Vistula in park of Wilanow Palace Museum.

We will be received by Paweł Jaskanis, director, who will fill us in on the history and present function of Wilanów, and by the curator of paintings, Krystyna Gutowska-Dudek. The ties of the place with the Netherlands go back to the Middle Ages. The Wisła River, which abuts the palace grounds, once carried Dutch shipping from the Baltic Sea to Warsaw.

Maciej Monkiewicz, curator of National Museum in Warsaw, and Krystyna Gutowska-Dudek, curator of Wilanow Palace Museum, on staircase in Wilanow.

The palace has a very complicated past. It was the royal residence of Jan III Sobieski at the end of the 17th century and subsequently the residence of a succession of aristocratic families, the Sieniawskis, Czartoryskis, Lubomirskis, Potockis and Branickis. The inhabitant who did the most for the palace was the distinguished diplomat, government minister, military man and cultural polymath Stanisław Kostka Potocki, nicknamed the Polish Winckelmann for his translation into Polish of Winckelmann’s history of ancient art. His main collecting campaigns of antiquities, but also of Old Master paintings and drawings, date from 1778-1798, 1808 and 1810. Wilanów was opened as a museum in 1805, making it one of the oldest public museums in Europe. Some of the paintings and furnishings belong to parts of original interiors, such as a plaster equestrian monument of Jan III Sobieski that once stood in the front hall, but which is now on the garden side. Othe r parts of Potocki’s collections are now in the Warsaw University Library, the National Museum and other institutions. Particularly impressive paintings with personal ties to the owners are The entry of the Princes Radziwil into Rome by Pieter van Bloemen and Niccolo Viviani Codazzi (?) and Jacques-Louis David’s portrait of Stanisław Kostka Potocki of 1781, one of the greatest works of art in the country.

One chamber in the palace was always called the Dutch Cabinet; the visit will reveal other associations and objets d’art. Although the best paintings from the Wilanów collections are on permanent loan to the National Museum in Warsaw, Dutch and Flemish paintings on display include works by David Bailly (?), Pieter van Laer, Jacob van Loo, Anthonie Palamedes, Adam Pynacker, Jacob Jordaens, Abraham Mignon, Jan Frans van Bloemen, Wallerand Vaillant, Adam Willaerts, Simon Luttichuys, Michiel van Musscher, Hendrik van Balen and Lucas van Uden and Adam Frans van der Meulen.

The Dutch Cabinet, Wilanow Palace Museum.

The French and English style park and gardens are a favorite destination for outings from Warsaw and the wide surroundings.

11:00-11:45 Bus to
Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawa (National Museum in Warsaw)
al. Jerozolimskie 3
PL-00495 Warszawa
T +48 22 621 1031, +48 22 629 3093
F +48 22 622 8559
Welcome in the main hall of the museum by the deputy director, Dorota Januszewska-Folga, head of the Department of Old Master Paintings, Antoni Ziemba, and our other members on staff: Hanna Benesz, Maria Kluk (retired as of 1 April), Maciej Monkiewicz and Joanna Tomicka, whose help in organizing the study trip was indispensible.

Antoni Ziemba, head of Old Master department, and Maria Kluk, curator, National Museum in Warsaw.

12:00-16:30 Visits to:

  • The museum galleries of early Netherlandish, early German, Dutch and Flemish paintings. The most comprehensive in Poland, it includes paintings by Dieric Bouts (?), Aert van den Bossche, Jacques Bellegambe, Joos van Cleve, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Maerten Heemskerck, Pieter Aertsen, Abraham Janssens, Frans Snyders, Jacob Jordaens, Adriaen Brouwer, David Teniers II, Hendrik ter Brugghen, Pieter Saenredam, Willem Claesz. Heda, Salomon and Jacob van Ruisdael, Pieter Lastman, Jan Lievens, Carel Fabritius, Ferdinand Bol, Adriaen van Ostade, Gerard ter Borch and Jan Steen.
  • Special displays of Dutch and Flemish prints and drawings.
  • Special display of Dutch and Flemish paintings from storage.
  • Galleries of medieval art, which are represented on a high international level.
  • Galleries of Italian, French, German and Polish paintings, contemporary paintings, decorative arts, and antiquities.

The order of the visits will be communicated on the day itself.

14:00-15:00 Lunch break. Tables have been booked in the museum cafeteria, but there are other places to eat outside the museum.
16:30-17:30 Drinks and snacks.

Pieter Saenredam, Interior of the church of St. Bavo, Haarlem, with visitor.

17:30-19:00 Bus to
Nieborów Palace
PL-99416 Nieborów
T +48 838 5635

Coffee table book on Nieborow Palace in window of Warsaw bookshop.

Built between 1690 and 1696 by the Utrecht architect Tilman van Gameren for Primate Michal Stefan Radziejowski of Poland. A French style garden was subsequently added behind the palace. In 1774 it was purchased by Prince Michael Radziwiłł, who employed Szymon Bogumil Zug to create an English-style landscape park. The grand staircase is lined with some 10,000 hand-painted Dutch tiles manufactured in Harlingen around 1700. An opulent library is located on the first floor. Valuable works of art can be found in almost every room of the palace, including the excellent Radziwiłł art collection, containing over 600 paintings and portraits by prominent European masters, a numismatic collection, antique furniture, tapestries and ceramics. The collection of sculptures is particularly admirable. (Information: website Warsaw Voice.) Since the Second World War, the palace has been a branch of the National Museum in Warsaw, which uses it for congresses, staff retreats and rece ptions.
19:00-21:30 Visit of Nieborów Palace, reception and dinner given there by the Director of the National Museum in Warsaw, Ferdynand Ruszczyc, and the Netherlands Ambassador to Poland, Ed Craanen.
21:30-23:00 Return to hotel in Warsaw.

Thursday, 22 April

8:45 Check out of hotel and bring baggage to baggage room.
9:00 Bus to
Muzeum Łazienki Królewski (Royal Łazienki Museum)
ul. Agrykoli 1
PL- 00460 Warszawa
T +48 22 621 6241, +48 22 621 8212
F+48 22 629 6945

Pond facade of the Royal Lazienki Museum

Mixed display in the galleries of the Royal Lazienki Museum.

A late 17th-century palace and popular park on the edge of the city, built as the residence of Stanisław August Poniatowski, the last King of Poland. The painting collection originally consisted of 2500 pieces, though they were never displayed as a picture gallery. The favorites travelled with the king. The Łazienki was formerly an annex of the National Museum in Warsaw; many of the works on display are the property of the National Museum. Among the notable Dutch and Flemish paintings are works by Gabriel Metsu, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Gerard Dou and Karel Dujardin.

We will be welcomed by Maciej Coynowski, head curator of the Łazienki Museum, who will introduce the palace, its successive owners and the collections.

10:45-11:15 Bus to
Zamek Królewski (Royal Castle)
pl. Zamkowy 4
PL-00277 Warszawa
T +48 22 657 2170
F +48 22 657 2271
On our way we will see several buildings designed by the Dutch architect Tilman van Gameren, one of the best architects working in Poland in the 17th century.
11:15-13:15 Visit in two groups to the Royal Castle, with a coffee break at 12:00 in the chique café in the museum.

The castle stands on the site of the 14th-century seat of the Mazovian dukes. It was commissioned in the last decade of the 16th century, after the Parliament and king moved to Warsaw from Kraków. In the 18th century Stanisław August Poniatowski rebuilt large parts of it in Baroque style. The castle was destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt in 1971-1984. The reconstruction harks back to different periods in the history of the castle.

Highpoints of the visit:

  • the Lanckoroński Gallery, about 25 paintings from the well known Lanckoroński Collection in Vienna, including works by Ludolph Backhuysen, Adriaen van Ostade and Philips Wouwerman and a pair of paintings formerly attributed to Rembrandt, entitled The Jewish bride and The father of the Jewish bride.
  • the so-called Canaletto Room, especially designed in 1776-77 as the location for an extraordinary series of views of Warsaw by Bernardo Belotto, known in Poland as Canaletto.

The Canaletto Room in Warsaw Castle.

13:15-15:00 Group meets at main entrance to the Royal Castle to walk to Warsaw University Library for lunch in Restauracje Biblioteka, located in the library building.
15:00-16:00 Admission (N.B. WITH CODART ZEVEN BADGE) to
Gabinet Rycin (Print room)
Biblioteka Uniwersytecka
Uniwersytet Warszawski
ul. Dobra 56/66
PL-00312 Warszawa
T +48 22 552 5834
F +48 22 552 5659

Introduction to the collection by Wanda N. Rudzińska, head of the print room.(E The prints and drawings come mainly from the collection of King Stanisław August Poniatowski (1732-1798) and Count Stanisław Kostka Potocki (1755-1821). The drawings include sheets by Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Govert Flinck, Jacob Jordaens, Lambert Lombard, Pieter Molijn, Rembrandt, Roeland Savery, Peter Stevens, Adriaen van de Velde and Esaias van de Velde. Here too is housed the archive of the Dutch-Polish architect Tilman van Gameren, the subject of a large exhibition held in the royal palaces of Amsterdam and Warsaw in 2002 and 2003. Remarkably, the best-preserved archive of a Dutch 17th-century architect is located in Warsaw. This is reminiscent of another rich studio legacy – that of the Adriaen Schonebeek materials in the Hermitage printroom, which seems to be the best-preserved archive of a Dutch printmaker. Astonishing that these holdings should have been preserved in Eastern Europe. Although the best Dutch and Flemish drawings from the University Library printroom will be on display in the drawings exhibition in the National Museum, there will be more than enough to make the visit worthwhile. Those who wish to do research in the printroom may remain, while the other participants have a choice of other destinations, to be reached by taxi:

Wanda Rudzinska, head of the Warsaw University Library printroom.

Reading room of the Warsaw University Library printroom.

16:00-18:00 Choice of activities:

  • Guided walking tour through the Old and New Town, originally of the 15th and 17th centuries respectively, largely reconstructed after the Second World War.
  • A Tilman van Gameren tour of central Warsaw, including a visit to the Krasiński Palace (1687-1700), now a branch of the National Library in Warsaw, with a display of prints and manuscripts). Our guide is the leading Polish specialist on van Gameren, Stanislaw Mossakowski of the Institute for Art History of Warsaw University.

18:00 Taxis to hotel.
18:15-19:30 Buffet dinner in hotel (not included).

19:30 Put baggage on bus, ride to railway station, four blocks away, take baggage off bus.

The main hall of the central railway station of Warsaw.

Bookstalls under Krakow Railway Station.

20:15-22:50 IC train from Warsaw to Kraków.
23:00-23:20 Transfer to
Hotel Wyspianski
15 Westerplatte
PL-31033 Kraków
T +48 12 422 9566
F +48 12 422 5719
The location of this lively hotel is excellent, a few minutes walk from the Market Square.

Friday, 23 April

8:40 Meet in hotel lobby for walk to:

9:00-10:30 Visit in two groups to the collections of the Czartoryski Library:
Department of Manuscripts
Biblioteka Czartoryskich (Czartoryski Library)
ul. św. Marka 17
PL-31108 Kraków
T +48 12 422 1172, +48 12 422 4079

curated by Janusz Nowack and Paweł Prokop, who will show us illuminated manuscripts by the Follower of the Boucicaut Master, the Netherlandish Master of the Golden Twigs (1420-30), the workshop of Barthèlemy d’Eyck (Le livre des tournois of René d’Anjou, 1465-75) and the workshop of David Aubert (Gent, 1478) and Department of Drawings and Prints, situated in the Czartoryski Museum building:

The facade of the Czartoryski Library, Krakow.

Janusz Nowack, head of manuscript department, Czartoryski Library.

Pawel Prokop, curator of medieval manuscripts at the Czartoryski Library.

Muzeum Czartoryskich (Czartoryski Museum)
ul. św. Jana 19
PL-31017 Kraków
T +48 12 422 5566
F +48 12 422 6137

with drawings by, among others, Gerard David, Martin de Vos, Pieter Stevens and a gouache by Hans Bol. (Other drawings are in the exhibition in the Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw; see above.) Among the prints are series by Hieronymus Cock after Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Hendrick Goltzius and Rembrandt. The library owns a number of extraordinary historical and allegorical prints by Romein de Hooghe with Polish subjects.

Portrait of Princess Izabela Czartoryska by Alexander Roslin.

The Princes Czartoryski Museum, in which we will be received by Dorota Dec and Janusz Walek is a remarkable institution. It was founded in 1796 on the estate of Pulawy outside Warsaw by Princess Izabela Czartoryski, from one of the oldest royal families of Poland. Her estate had been destroyed in 1794 by Catherine the Great of Russia on account of Izabela’s support of the Kosciuszko rising, an attempt to re-establish a Polish state after the second partition of Poland. Returning to the ruined estate in 1796, Izabela “determined to erect a national museum dedicated to preserving the memory of Poland’s past and place in history… What she wanted was a hall or temple of memory. As she cast about for an appropriate style for it, she found the perfect model, This was the half-ruined temple dating from the first century B.C. situated at Tivoli, the ancient Tibur,” which was thought to be a temple of Sibyl. In Pulawy Izabela assembled a collection of historical and artistic treasures from Revolutionary Europe. ” Objects from the Netherlands were acquired for her by allies such as Jean Charles Beydaels de Zittaert, the scheming custodian of the Treasury of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and General Kichal Sokolnicki, who plundered the Brussels art market in 1810-11. When a new resurrection erupted in 1830, Izabel’s son Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, with his wife and mother-in-law, moved the collection to Paris, where in the Hôtel Lambert it served as a kind of Polish court in exile, underpinning Adam’s vain claim to the Polish throne.

“In 1871, after the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Prince Wladyslaw Czartoryski, the younger son of Adam Jerzy, packed or hid all of the artefacts and fled. In 1874, the city of Krakow offered him the arsenal in the Old Wall as a museum, which he called upon Violet-le-Duc to renovate, who in turn delegated the project to his son-in-law Maurice Ouradou. In 1878, 100 years after Princess Izabela set up her museum in Pulawy, the new museum, as it is seen today, was opened. For nearly 20 years until his death in 1894, Prince Wladyslaw set about adding to the collection… . Today the museum is administered by the Princess Czartoryski Foundation set up by Prince Adam Karol in 1991.” Quotes from museum information.)

The facade of the Czartoryski Museum, Krakow.

Janusz Walek, head of the department of Old Masters, Czartoryski Museum, Krakow.

Dorota Dec, curator of paintings at the Czartoryski Museum.

A framed miniature in the Czartoryski Library, shown by curator.

10:30-11:00 Walk to Jagiellonian Library.
11:00-12:30 In two alternating groups:
Zbiory Graficzne Biblioteki Jagiellonskiej (Graphic Collections of the Jagiellonian Library)
ul. Mickiewicza 22
PL-30059 Kraków
T +48 12 633 6377
F +48 12 633 0903
We will enter at the Oleandry Street entrance, where we will be met by the curator, Piotr Hordynski (E, in de new building. The holdings include not only prints but also illuminated manuscripts, such as the Codex picturatus of Baltazar Behem, 1505 (probably not on view), and two major collections coming from the former Preussische Staatsbibliothek in Berlin: the so-called Clusius Collection of botanical and zoological watercolors from the second half of the 16th century, and the Brazilian collection of Count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, with oil paintings on paper and drawings by Aelbert Eckhout (probably now on loan to Eckhout exhibition in the Mauritshuis).
Muzeum Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego (Museum of the Jagellonian University)
ul. Jagiellonska 15
PL-31010 Kraków
T +48 12 422 1033

Our guide is the curator of historical art of this museum of mixed objects, Anna Jasińska, (E; T extension 1310). The museum is located in a 15th-century university building, the Collegium Maius, which was reconstructed in the 19th century. The museum was not installed there until after the Second World War, in the years 1949-64. The immense project was the work of Prof. Karol Estreicher, who attempted to restore some of the original atmosphere of the building. Among the Netherlandish paintings are a splendid Flora by Jan Massys and works by Jacob Willemsz. Delff, Philips Koninck, Benjamin Gerritsz. Cuyp and Karel Dujardin. These are interspersed among a wide-ranging display of medieval and post-medieval sculpture and plaster casts, books and prints, metalwork and rare astronomical instruments. Among the latter is the early 16th-century Jagiellonian Golden Globe, with the inscription America noviter reperta. Reconstructions of the instruments used by the greatest alumnus of the Collegium Maius, Nicholas Copernicus, are of special interest.

Anna Jasinska, curator of historical art, Collegium Maius, Krakow.

Prof. Karol Estreicher, who rebuilt the Collegium Maius into the Museum of the Jagellonian University.

Inner court of the Collegium Maius, Krakow.

The highpoint of the visit is the 15th-century auditorium, with its 16th-century coffered ceiling, portraits of professors and richly carved stone and wooden furnishings.

12:30-14:00 The groups change places.
14:00-15:30 Lunch break, with opportunity to visit:
Stara Synagoga (Old Synagogue)
ul. Szeroka 24
PL-31053 Kraków
T +48 12 422 0962
The old synagogue now houses a museum devoted to Jewish life in Kraków. It is located on the main square of Kazimierz, the former Jewish district.
15:30-17:30 Visit to the Czartoryski Museum. For the history of the museum, see also above, under morning visit to library. Paintings include Leonardo’s Lady with an ermine, Rembrandt’s Landscape with the Good Samaritan (1638) and works by Aelbert Bouts, the Master of the Half-Lengths, the Master of the Legend of St. Mary Magdalene(?), Anthonie Mor, Gonzales Coques, Caspar Netscher and (on loan from the Wawel Royal Castle) Jan Lievens.
17:30-19:00 Reception in the Czartoryski Museum.

Saturday, 24 April

8:30 Meet in hotel lobby for walk to

9:00-10:30 Zamek Królewski na Wawelu: Panstwowe Zbiory Sztuki (Royal Castle on Wawel Hill: State Art Collections)
Wawel 5
PL-31001 Kraków
T +48 12 422 5155
F +48 12 422 1950
From the museum website: “From the dawn of Polish history Wawel Hill in Cracow was a centre of secular and ecclesiastical power. The establishment in 1000 of the bishopric of Cracow was soon followed by the construction on Wawel of the first cathedral. The Wawel castle functioned as the residence of the Polish rulers from the mid-11th to the early 17th century. The present structure incorporates Romanesque fragments and considerable Gothic parts, but it acquired its present form mainly in the period c. 1504-1535, during the reign of the kings Alexander (1501-1506) and Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) of the Jagiellonian dynasty. The construction of the Renaissance castle was begun by Master Eberhard Rosemberger – responsible for the actual building – and Francesco the Florentine, who executed decorative stone elements and the arcaded galleries. Their work was continued by Master Benedykt and another Florentine, Bartolomeo Berrecci. Those artists created together one of the most stately monuments of Renaissance architecture in Europe.”

From the Blue Guide to Kraków: “The Gothic castle on this part of Wawel Hill was destroyed during a major fire in 1499. At the beginning of the 16th century, King Zygmunt the Old commissioned a team of local stonemasons and Italian sculptors headed by Francesco Fiorentino to construct a new residence befitting the power and influence of the Jagiellon dynasty. After 1530, work was continued under the supervision of Bartolomeo Berrecci, another Florentine. In 1595, two towers were added – the Zygmunt Vasa in the northeast corner, and the Sobieski, adjacent to the Cathedral Treasury. Swedish troops ravaged the castle twice, most destructively in 1702, when they began a fire that raged for a whole week. The castle suffered during the Partitions, notably at the hands of the Austrian army, who used it as a barracks. It was only after 1905 that serious restoration work began, lasting until the 1960s.

“The courtyard is the best example of Italian Renaissance architecture in the castle. The arcades, borrowed from 15th-century Florentine design, are perfect semi-circles resting on slender columns…. The Royal Chambers could be a disappointment, were it not for the truly magnificent tapestries, bequeathed to the Polish nation by the last of the Jagiellons, Zygmunt August, who commissioned them for the interiors of his Wawel residence. The tapestries were painstakingly wove in the mid-16th century by several outstanding masters from Brussels to the drawings and designs of Michiel van Coxcie of Mechelen (1499-1592). More than 350 pieces were made, of which 136 have survived. The largest tapestries are 5 x 9 meters in size.

“The collection comprises three basic groups: figurative tapestries depicting Biblical scenes, the so-called verdures,… and the grotesque tapestries, with the cipher of Zygmunt August amid satyrs and other mythical creatures.”

Our member Joanna Winiewicz-Wolska will show us the painting collection that she catalogued in Malarstwo holenderskie w zbiorach zamku królweskiego na Wawelu (Dutch paintings in the collections of the Wawel Royal Castle), published by the museum in 2001, 99 paintings including works by Jan Sanders van Hemessen, Jan Gossaert (?),Jacob Adriaensz. Backer, Govert Flinck, Jan Both, Michiel van Musscher, Jan Steen, Caspar Netscher and Nicolaes Maes. Flemish paintings are fewer in number. Most are installed in a splendidly picturesque corner cabinet. If time allows, other parts of the castle can be visited, such as the Royal Treasury and Armory, and the department of Oriental art, and the medieval galleries, with long-term loans from the National Museum in Kraków, which is now devoted mainly to contemporary art.]

Joanna Winiewicz-Wolska, curator of paintings in Wawel Castle.

Krakow Wawel the Dutch cabinet.

10:30-11:00 Coffee break.
11:00-12:30 Visit to Wawel Cathedral, perhaps the most important cultural monument of Poland. The central place in the Cathedral is occupied by the shrine of St. Stanislaw, the most revered martyr of the Polish Catholic Church. His tomb has rested at this spot since the 11th century, a fact which determined the unusual proportions of the church, with the chancel longer than the nave. The dome, supported on four pillars, was designed by Giovanni Trevano in 1626-29. Below it is a silver coffin of 1669-71 by Pieter van der Rennen (1607-1671), a Polish goldsmith presumably of Netherlandish descent.

The crypt of St. Leonard is the most important remnant of the grand Romanesque Cathedral of St. Waclaw, begun at the end of the 11th century and completed over 50 years later. The present, Gothic cathedral was begun by Bishop Nanker in 1320. The Zygmunt Chapel is the most famous part of the Cathedral, the work of a Tuscan artist, Bartolomeo Berrecci, brought to Kraków in 1517 by Zygmunt the Elder to work on the new royal castle. After the death of his first wife, Zygmunt decided to build a sepulchral chapel for himself and his former spouse. Little did he know that it would become the mausoleum of the last Jagiellons. The chapel is considered the purest example of Renaissance architecture outside Italy. The 15th-century Chapel of the Holy Cross houses the tomb of Kazimierz the Jagiellon by Veit Stoss. (Texts from the Blue Guide to Kraków.)
12:30-14:00 Lunch break.
Library of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences
ul. Slawkowska 17
PL-31016 Kraków
T +48 12 422 7304
The curator of the print collection, Krzysztof Kruzel, will show part of the extraordinary collection of engravings and etchings, including numerous prints by Lucas van Leyden, Dirk Volkertsz. Coornhert, Hieronymus Cock, Pieter van der Heyden, Frans Huys, Cornelis Cort, Philips Galle, the Sadeler and Wierix families, the Rubens circle and Rembrandt.
15:00-18:00 Unguided visit to Old Town. Not to miss:

The Church of Our Lady, Krakow.

  • Sukiennice (The Cloth Hall), in the middle of the Great Market. On this site stood a market building as early as the 14th century. The present structure is a 19th-century reconfiguration of a rebuilding from 1552-1562 by the Italian architect Giovanni Maria Padovano.
  • The Church of Our Lady (1355-early 16th century). The main altar is one of the chief works of Veit Stoss. The interior of the church is divided into sections set off by unfortunate barriers. CODART will attempt to breach them.
  • Church of St. Anna, designed by Tilman van Gameren.
  • Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, early 17th century Jesuit church.

and other monuments and picturesque corners of Kraków.
18:30-20:30 Dinner in Alef, the best of the Jewish restaurants in Kazimierz
ul. Szeroka 17
PL-31035 Kraków
T/F +48 12 421 3870
At 20:00 the klezmer music starts, at which point participants may stay on for €3.50 or else move on to spend the rest of their evening elsewhere.

Sunday, 25 April

Optional: 8:30 Those visiting Auschwitz check out of hotel and put their baggage on the bus. The others may spend the day in Kraków as they wish and check out at any time. They will take taxis to the airport, under supervision of Gerdien Verschoor.
9:00-10:15 Bus to Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
10:15-13:30 Auschwitz.
13:30-14:30 Bus to Kraków Airport.
15:30-16:15 LOT Polish Airlines flight LO 3914 from Kraków to Warsaw.
17:20-19:15 LOT Polish Airlines flight LO 267 from Warsaw to Amsterdam.

Auschwitz Birkenau, half of the front wall.