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This picture is one of the more beautiful baroque allegorical portraits, presenting Maria Casimire as the goddess Gaea-Rhea, mother of gods, founder of the royal Sobieski dynasty. King John III Sobieski is presented in this scene in the form of a sculpted bust in the background, with a laurel wreath and attributes of glory and victory. The eagle, Rhea's usual companion, is placed in the centre of the composition and holds between its wings the first-born son Jakub in a crimson robe, as the heir to the throne, and his mother Maria Casimire. Two younger boys, Aleksander and Konstanty, wearing antique-style clothes, are riding a lion, a symbol of their membership in the royal family and an indication of their future deeds of courage. The daughter, Teresa Kunegunda, is sitting on a dolphin, holding a shell with a pearl in her lap; her hair is also decorated with pearls. This is to symbolise her predestination to the throne and the mildness of her character. Jan, the youngest son, is asleep in his mother's lap.

Details

  • Title: Portrait of Queen Maria Casimire with children
  • Date Created: 1684
  • Technique: oil on canvas
  • Provenance: Donation for museum done in 1961 by Ludwik Wodzicki through the medium of Tadeusz Pawlikowski
  • Physical Dimensions: w1420 x h2150 mm
  • Painter: Jerzy Eleuter Szymonowicz Siemiginowski
  • Original Title: Portret królowej Marii Kazimiery z dziećmi
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Wilanów Palace Museum, Photo: W. Holnicki

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