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The Diocesan Museum Revisited

Another Rendezvous with El Greco

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Visiting the diocesan museum in Siedlce

Visiting the diocesan museum in Siedlce

Thanks to an advertisement in the Facebook group “Siedlce, a Friendly City”, we found out about a special event at the Diocesan Museum in Siedlce: a free guided tour of El Greco Hall hosted by the museum director, Rev. Dr. Robert Mirończuk, who is a priest. The tour was organized on the occasion of the 410th anniversary of the death of El Greco. The Diocesan Museum invited the city residents as well as guests to visit the museum collections and paintings.

The museum director's tour of the museum, Siedlce

The museum director's tour of the museum, Siedlce

The guided tour lasted for about forty minutes. The museum director welcomed each group at the museum entrance and took the visitors to El Greco’s Room first. When we came to this museum for the first time last summer, we were taken to El Greco Hall at the end of the museum tour.
The museum director told us some interesting things about the painter and about his masterpiece. After his story, we had a quarter of an hour or so to see the museum exhibition on our own. Then the museum director politely requested us to leave since there were other people standing on the staircase waiting for the entrance.

The only painting in Poland by the Spanish painter El Greco, «The Ecstasy of St. Francis» was accidentally found in the presbytery in Kosów Lacki. Then it was transported to the Siedlce Diocesan Curia. After a conservation report confirming its authenticity, it was not made available to the public for over 40 years. The original El Greco’s signature located under the image of the skull is legible enough to be sure of its authenticity. It was confirmed by the result of the spectographic analysis.

Visiting the diocesan museum in Siedlce

Visiting the diocesan museum in Siedlce

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The work depicting Saint Francis is also called “Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata”. It was made available to the public in 2004. It attracts tourists and painting lovers from the region, as well as the art connoisseurs from all over the world. According to the museum director, the authour of the canvas – Domenikos Theotokopoulos – was born in Crete in 1541 and died in Toledo on April 7, 1614. Crete belonged to the Republic of Venice then. El Greco had stayed in Venice and Rome before coming to Toledo, the spiritual capital of Spain, in 1577. During his stay in Italy, he made friends with famous painters such as Tintoretto, Brothers Bassano and others. They gave him a nickname El Greco (“the Greek”). He usually signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters and often added the word “the Cretan” in Ancient Greek.

Pondering at the canvas Ecstasy of St.Francis by El Greco

Pondering at the canvas Ecstasy of St.Francis by El Greco

"The Ecstasy of St. Francis" was created by El Greco in 1578 during the period of the greatest prosperity of Spain in the so-called Golden Age. It is one of the numerous paintings that El Greco created to represent St.Francis. The canvas fascinates people with the figure of the saint depicted in a manner specific to the painter. The phenomenal composition with sparkling light and unusual colors make the figure of St. Francis ecstatic and extremely spiritual. The painter convincingly showed the viewers - ordinary mortals - the existence of a real spiritual world. The visible clear texture and the quick and thick brushstrokes indicate that such a work could have been created by a man of deep and fervent, even mystical faith, who wanted to capture a glimpse of the invisible.
Answering a visitor’s question about the price of El Greco’s paintings, the guide told us that the painting kept in Siedlce had been insured for 5 million PLN. Live and learn!

During our visit to  the diocesan museum, Siedlce

During our visit to the diocesan museum, Siedlce


Canvases of saints  at the diocesan museum, Siedlce

Canvases of saints at the diocesan museum, Siedlce

We also saw an exhibition devoted to the 150th anniversary of the feat of the Martyrs of Podlasie. A special hall was also devoted to their feat.

Martyrs of Podlasie Hall at the diocesan museum, Siedlce

Martyrs of Podlasie Hall at the diocesan museum, Siedlce


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The 17th and 18th-century artefacts at the diocesan museum / The 18th-century icons at the diocesan museum
a35bc690-f500-11ee-9c54-2d723c8f2589.jpga39d8a80-f500-11ee-98b9-07e91f4b2613.jpgPriests and bishops' regalia at the diocesan museum, Siedlce

Priests and bishops' regalia at the diocesan museum, Siedlce


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Posted by Vic_IV 09:57 Archived in Poland Tagged masovia mazovia siedlce oginski

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Comments

Looks like there's plenty of museums where you are and lots of things to do.

by irenevt

Exactly! This visit was so special not only because of the free entrance on that day, but also because I was more prepared to understand the church art and the legacy of El Greco...

by Vic_IV

Pretty impressive to be honest!

by Ils1976

That's true! Ils, we were very impressed and understood practically everything our guide was telling us, even though he, like all the guides, was speaking very quickly.

by Vic_IV

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