• Illumination at Wola near Warsaw on the Occasion of the Conclusion of Peace with Turkey in 1774

    Artist:
    Wahl, Joseph. 1754-1798
    Technique:
    pen and ink, traces of pencil marks
    Dimensions:
    51х78 cm

Wahl, Joseph. 1754-1798

Illumination at Wola near Warsaw on the Occasion of the Conclusion of Peace with Turkey in 1774

second half of the 18th century

Title:

Illumination at Wola near Warsaw on the Occasion of the Conclusion of Peace with Turkey in 1774

Material:

Technique:

pen and ink, traces of pencil marks

Dimensions:

51х78 cm

Inventory Number:

ОР-18594

Comment:

Wola, or Wielka Wola is a village near Warsaw, where thousands of noblemen gathered to elect the King of Poland. Today it is a town district. Under the rule of August III the village was the property of a minister of Count Bruhl and later belonged to Prince Adam Poniński. On the occasion of the conclusion of peace between Russia and Turkey, on 11 September 1774, an illumination event was held in the gardens of Poniński. The sketch for this festivity was made by the court painter Joseph Wahl. This composition is dominated by a triumphal column surmounted by the figure of goddess Victoria holding a raised laurel wreath. The goddess stands on a pedestal with the seated figures of the captive Turks and an inscription ‘GLORIOSO PACI’ (‘To Glorious Peace’). The Tuscan column consists of seven drums covered with reliefs separated by bands with Latin inscriptions bringing to mind the major war events. At the foot of the column, erected on an artificial elevation and surrounded by flaming sacrificial altars, are representations of two allegorical figures crowning with laurels the imperial crown above the radiance emanating from the monogram ‘С II’ (Catharina II ?). On both sides are four obelisks bearing representations of standards with laurel wreaths and crowns of various dynasties which tower over the enemy trophies - a Turkish turban and crescent signs. The composition is flanked by trelliage niches with an eagle on the sphere. The Cabinet of Prints of the University Library in Warsaw has a version of this drawing (Inv. № zb.d. 8988) executed on bluish-grey paper and ‘inhabited ‘by numerous characters.

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