Discoveries made during renovation of the upper level of the palace
During the ongoing renovation works on the upper level of the Wilanów Palace, conservators are revealing wall paintings previously unknown to the public. Decorations dating probably back to the 1720s have survived on three walls of the room next to the Quiet Room. The conservators knew about their existence earlier, since they thoroughly examined all the walls before the renovation, although the probe openings made it impossible to determine exactly what had been preserved under the many layers of smoothly laid paint. However, it was possible to plan the “discovery” and carry out the time-consuming maintenance without any surprises. Still, the scope of the decoration and its character exceeded our imagination. The compositions depict landscapes framed in illusionist architecture. Visible in one composition is a gate very similar to the one through which visitors enter the main courtyard of the palace. In the distant past, the condition of these decorations must have been very bad, since their value was no longer appreciated and they were completely painted over, most likely in the 19th century. Today, however, the surviving relics are invaluable. They are a fragment of a comprehensive decoration of several adjacent, intimate rooms of the first floor, commissioned first by Jan III and then by Elżbieta Sieniawska, who employed painter Giuseppe Rossi to create a number of works. The exposed fragments of paintings and the underlying surface are currently being structurally reinforced and protected, all plaster losses will soon be filled and prepared in a way that will enable the future colour consolidation of the composition.
Agnieszka Indyk, Zbigniew Reszka
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