Józef Grassi
Portrait of Prince Józef Poniatowski, c. 1790
Gift of Wiktor Osławski, 1892

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 64 x 54 cm

description: Prince Józef Poniatowski was born in Vienna and grew up as a subject of the Emperor of Austria. When his father died, his paternal uncle, Stanisław August Poniatowski, became involved in his upbringing and education. The king let his nephew join the army of Joseph II, but he did his best to prevent Józef Poniatowski from losing his sense of national identity in the army of the oppressor. He wanted the young man to grow attached to Poland. In 1786, the king awarded him the orders of Saint Stanisław and of the White Eagle. In 1788, when the war between Turkey and Austria broke out, the prince was wounded during the daring storming of the Sabacz stronghold. Soon afterwards, in August 1789, after the Four-Year-Seym had passed a resolution to establish the hundred-thousand-strong army, the king called him to Poland to form the Polish army together with Tadeusz Kościuszko. While staying in Warsaw, he quickly proved himself to be a well-favoured prince charmant. It was then that Józef Grassi painted a portrait of the young prince dressed in the military uniform, with the star of the White Eagle. Around 1790, Grassi produced a smaller replica of the painting, showing only the bust of Poniatowski. Barbara Ciciora

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Enlightenment >>>

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design & concept: creator.pl