• Catarina Gattai Thomatis as a Muse
  • Catarina Gattai Thomatis as a Muse
  • Catarina Gattai Thomatis as a Muse - 1
  • Catarina Gattai Thomatis as a Muse - 2

Catarina Gattai Thomatis as a Muse

c 1790–1795
Object type
67,5 x 55,2 cm
Acquisition date
The Palace on the Isle - Small Gallery, 1st floor
Place of Origin
Poland (Europe)
The Royal Łazienki
Museum number
ŁKr 125
More parametrów obiektu

Alina Chyczewska dated the second likeness of Catarina Thomatis (1745–85) to 1780–85 (for the first, showing the sitter in profile—see cat no. 8), although her coiffure and garments would indicate it was made in the early 1790s. Catarina is depicted as Erato, the muse of love poetry (with a kitara) or Terpsychore, the muse of dancing (with a lyre), which is an obvious reference to her artistic career during the early days of her stay in Poland. It is, therefore, an allegorical, idealized painting, made after her death. The painting is not recorded in the 1793 catalogue of the Stanisław August collection, but can be found in an undated catalogue compiled between 1793 and 1795 which Tadeusz Mańkowski (1932) called a ‘draft’ of the main 1795 catalogue. The catalogue contains the telling annotation that the above-mentioned, first portrait of Catarina was stored in Bacciarelli’s studio at the Royal Castle … . Bacciarelli had probably taken to his studio the portrait he had painted 15 years earlier to help him recall the sitter’s features. The composition of the present portrait differs significantly—the earlier version was used only for inspiration. Both portraits are ovals in a rectangle and have identical dimensions. [See D. Juszczak, H. Małachowicz, The Stanisław August Collection of Paintings at the Royal Łazienki. Catalogue, Royal Łazienki Museum, Warsaw 2016, no. 9, p. 76.]