• Poesia (Allegory of Poetry)

Poesia (Allegory of Poetry)

Object type
22,0 x 17,9 cm
Acquisition date
The Palace on the Isle - Picture Gallery, ground floor
Marks and inscriptions
signed Giuseppe Sacconi fece, on the back
Place of Origin
Florence (Italy)
National Museum in Warsaw
Acquisition name
deposit; inv. no. 131069 MN
Museum number
Dep 943
More parametrów obiektu

… the painting was bought in Florence by the Primate, Michał Poniatowski, Stanisław August’s brother, on his first visit there, at the end of November or early December 1789; the consignment with the painting arrived in Warsaw in May 1790 … .

It is a reduced copy of Carlo Dolci’s painting in the Galleria Corsini in Florence … .

Dolci’s paintings—which often depict a single figure of a saint or a personification—painted smoothly and meticulously finished with almost illusionist modelling in a style which Charles McCorquodale defined as ‘poetic naturalism’, had widespread appeal among art lovers … . Poesia attained the highest level of fame among these and became one of the icons of the Italian Seicento; it was copied many times both in the 17th and throughout the whole of the 18th and 19th centuries. Giuseppe Sacconi, who specialized in making copies of famous paintings by great masters for travellers on their Grand Tours, copied Poesia at least twice. …

Michał Poniatowski probably bought Poesia directly from Sacconi’s Florentine workshop (A. Sołtys, Opat z San Michele: Grand Tour prymasa Poniatowskiego i jego kolekcje, Warszawa 2008, p. 110) . It is unclear whether he did this at the behest of Stanisław August—who like all other 18th-century aficionados wanted to have at least copies of famous works of art, if he could not obtain the originals—or whether it was on Poniatowski’s own initiative. … [D. Juszczak, H. Małachowicz, The Stanisław August Collection of Paintings at the Royal Łazienki. Catalogue, Royal Łazienki Museum, Warsaw 2016, no. 92, pp. 340–341.]

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