The Special Issue of Eastern European History Review (n. 3/2020) collects the scientific products of an international conference held in Warsaw between 18 and 19 October 2019, entitled The Sobieski Family: history, culture and society. Insights between Rome, Warsaw and Europe.
The volume, on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives – between History, Literature and History of Art – addresses the most significant moments and stages of the long, and at times singular but extraordinary, history of the Sobieski Family.
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Eastern European History Review
OLEKSII SOKYRKO (Taras Schevchenko National University of Kyiv, History Department)
TITLE: JAN SOBIESKI, UKRAINIAN COSSACKS AND RAID WAR STRATEGY AT THE OTTOMAN BORDER.
ABSTRACT: Coalition wars of European states with the Ottoman Empire of the Coalition wars of European states against the Ottoman Empire of the late XVIIth century were the last period of Turkish expansion to the West Europe. Just then the talent of Jan Sobieski was most discovered as a diplomat and commander. As a military commander, Sobieski had the reputation of a brilliant cavalry general, a master of lightning maneuvers and a raid warfare. This experience was gained in the military campaigns of the 60’s and 70’s of the XVIIth century against the right-bank Cossacks of Petro Doroshenko. During the time of Jan Sobieski’s kingship, relations with the Cossacks have changed. In the Cossacks, the king saw a valuable military potential, relevant in the war against Ottomans. The Left-Bank Cossack Hetmanate became a partner of the Holy League. In the military campaigns of the 80’s and 90’s of the XVIIth century the Crown Army and the Hetman Samoilovich and Mazepa army conducted a series of raids against the Turks and Tatars in the area between the Dnieper and the Danube. Many of these military operations were organized and conducted under the rules of the steppe war, in which the Ukrainian Cossacks had considerable experience. Comparison of the Raid War of the Crown Troops
and the Cossack Army reveals many common features, for example, in the organization and planning of campaigns, scouting etc. In fact, we can talk about the experience of the Raid War, jointly produced at the Ottoman border of the Rzeczpospolita and Cossack Hetmanate in the time of Jan Sobieski.
KEYWORDS: Jan Sobieski; Cossack Hetmanate; Ukrainian Cossacks; Warfare; Ottoman wars.
ALESSANDRO BOCCOLINI (University of Tuscia)
TITLE: LA LEGA SANTA DEL 1684 E L’AMBASCIATA STRAORDINARIA DI ANGELO MOROSINI ALLA CORTE DI JAN III SOBIESKI TRATTA DALLE CARTE CONSERVATE PRESSO L’ARCHIVIO DI STATO DI VENEZIA.
ABSTRACT: Immediately after the liberation of Vienna from the Ottoman siege, diplomacy was activated to extend the Holy League stipulated in March 1683 between Poles and Imperials. Papal diplomacy was decisive
for the entry into the Christian coalition of the Serenissima Republic of Venice. Thanks to the direction of Innocent XI, and to the work of the papal nuncios in Vienna and Warsaw, Francesco Buonvisi and Opizio Pallavicini, in May 1684, a new Holy League was solemnly sworn in between Poland, the Habsburgs of Austria and the Venetian Republic. The essay aims to retrace the complex diplomatic phases relating to the League of 1684. They are investigated through the analysis of archival documents (published and unpublished) relating to the extraordinary embassy in Poland carried out by Angelo Morosini. Sent by the Venetian senate to solemnize the alliance just signed, the embassy is above all an opportunity to closely observe the new eastern ally.
KEYWORDS: Holy League 1684; Jan III Sobieski; Morosini; Serenissima Republic of Venice; Extraordinary Embassy.
ANNA RYSZKA-KOMARNICKA (University of Warsaw)
TITLE: SELVA DI RIME TOSCANE (BLC, CORS. 43 B 13) COME TESTIMONIANZA SCONOSCIUTA DELLA GLORIFICAZIONE POETICA DELLA VITTORIA DI VIENNA (1683)
ABSTRACT: The contribution focuses on the manuscript entitled Selva di Rime Toscane, now kept by the Corsiniana and Lincei Library in Rome. The manuscript was compiled by the Marquis Filippo Corsini, a member of the prestigious Accademia della Crusca. The main part of the document contains nearly 140 poems (especially ode and sonnets) dedicated to the fight against the Turks with particular attention to the siege of Vienna in 1683. Many poems were unknown even to Bronisław Biliński, collector of Italian poems concerning the siege of Vienna and the exploits of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski. Among these poems in the Selva di Rime Toscane there are nearly 50 previously unknown poems that focus on the figure of Sobieski, refer to it or – a real rarity – present other Polish heroes present in Vienna. The manuscript is, therefore, an important source for exploring the themes and meanings connected with the glorification of the Christian victories against the infidel Turk.
KEYWORDS: Jan III Sobieski; Siege of Vienna 1683; Laudatory Italian poems; Selva di Rime Toscane; Filippo Corsini
JERZY MIZIOŁEK (University of Warsaw – Faculty of Archaeology)
TITLE: LA VILLA NUOVA DEL RE GIOVANNI III SOBIESKI E L’ANTICO. QUALCHE OSSERVAZIONE SULLE ISPIRAZIONI OMERICHE, VIRGILIANE E OVIDIANE
ABSTRACT: The Church of the Transfiguration located in the very heart of Warsaw was founded by King Jan III Sobieski in the years 1683–94. It was built for the Capuchin friars, who also took care of the chapel at the Royal Castle. The iconographical programme of the church with its main altar depicting a scene of the Transfiguration, in which the king was buried on 23 December 1697, has never been studied in depth. The present paper seeks to answer the question: why did King Jan III choose this particular dedication for the church? In the light of the research presented here, it would appear that the monarch, who was highly educated, had a keen interest in theology. He used to discuss theological matters with Carlo Maurizio Vota, an Italian Jesuit, and with Abbot Melchior de Polignac, the French ambassador to Poland. The king was in possession of many books by the Church Fathers. Moreover, the Feast of the Transfiguration was considered to be anti-Turkish.
KEYWORDS: Jan III Sobieski; Warsaw; Transfiguration; Symbolism of light; Theology.
KONRAD MORAWSKI (University of Warsaw)
TITLE: MAGISTRI EX ITALIA CONDUCTI – 17TH CENTURY STUCCO DECORATIONS AT THE WILANÓW PALACE AND THE PHENOMENA THAT SHAPED THEM
ABSTRACT: At the Wilanów Palace high-class stucco works from the last quarter of the 17th century have been preserved. Although they are formally diverse (probably made by several workshops), those decorations were considered as a characteristic example of stucco works for Warsaw artistic milieu of the late 17th century. The claim of the homogeneity of the stucco milieu is based on – in some cases confirmed, but in some only presumed – ethnic origin of its members – Italian masters, who came mostly from the vicinity of the great Lombard lakes. The aim of the speech is to recognize the Central European stuccos as a conglomerate of southern, northern and local forms and traditions. Research on the influence of Maestri dei laghi on the art of Central Europe is dominated by the perspective of direct transfers of artistic patterns from Italy, which led to the neglect of the regional context. The interest in the Rome–Como–Warsaw route in the speech will be opposed to a research area which blurred borders can be set between Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Cracow, Warsaw and Vilnius. The claim about the Italianate character of artworks will be the subject of reflection leading to recognition of the components of an increasingly homogenous image of architectural decorations in Central Europe around 1700.
KEYWORDS: Stucco; Wilanów Palace; Jean Lepautre; Pattern books; Cultural transfer
JAROSŁAW PIETRZAK (Pedagogical University of Krakow)
TITLE: KATARZYNA NÉE SOBIESKI RADZIWIŁŁ INTEREST IN THE AFFAIRS OF PAPAL COURT AND ROMAN REALITY BETWEEN 1678-1691
ABSTRACT: The Katarzyna née Sobieski Radziwiłł (1634-1694) traveled through Italy in 1678-1679 by the side of her husband, the Vice-Chancellor and Field Hetman of Lithuania Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł. At that time, she was received in a solemn audience by Pope Innocent X and honored ceremonially as the sister of the king Jan III Sobieski. She has also visited a number of churches, as well as art and curiosities collections at Roman palaces. After the death of her husband in 1680 returning from Roman legation, she made correspondence with the Apostolic Camera regarding the repayment of her spouse’s debts. The next trace of the Duchess’s interest in Roman affairs was correspondence with Cardinal Carlo Barberini, protector of the Kingdom of Poland to the Roman Curia regarding her sons’ stay in the Eternal City and protection for her associates for clerical offices. Subsequent years showed that Italian matters were not foreign to her because of the letters sent to her by unknown correspondent from the circle of the papal court. Correspondence conducted from February 1691 to January 1692 consists of 60 letters covering a diverse range of matters. The reverend father described the daily life of Rome and its inhabitants at the time of pest. The second important problem of correspondence became the day-by-day course of the conclave after the death of Pope Clement VIII and the circumstances of choosing his successor Innocent XI. The work addresses all these issues, trying to show the mental horizon of the Polish magnate and the reception of Italian models transferred through her to Polish ground.
KEYWORDS: Sobieski; Radziwiłł; Correspondence; Papal court; Conclave.
Elisabetta Gnignera (Costume Historian-Indipendent Researcher)
TITLE: L’ARISTOCRAZIA EN DÉSHABILLÉ: LE VESTI “A L’ANTICHA” DI MARIA CASIMIRA SOBIESKA
ABSTRACT: Maria Maria Kazimiera de La Grange d’Arquien was sent to Poland at the age of five as a lady-companion of Queen Maria Ludwika Gonzaga Nevers who was to import French fashions into Poland. Following the influences of the Greco-Roman imperial age on the European aristocratic apparel of the second half of XVIIth century, this contribution aims to analyze both modern contaminations and antiquarian motifs present in Maria Kazimiera’s celebratory clothing with a special reference to the following case-studies: Maria Kazimiera’s medallion executed on the occasion of The Queen Widow’s visit to the Campidoglio Hall on December 2nd 1700 (Capitoline Museums); the Portrait of Maria Casimira with Her children, by Jerzy Eleuter Szymonowicz-Siemiginowski dated around 1684 (Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów).
KEYWORDS: Sobieski; Clothing; Caritas; Classicism; Sash-belts.
FRANCESCA DE CAPRIO (University of Tuscia)
TITLE: DUE REGINE ALLA CONQUISTA DI ROMA: CRISTINA DI SVEZIA E MARIA KAZIMIERA SOBIESKA, TRA CERIMONIALI E SIMBOLI
ABSTRACT: Between Maria Kazimiera Sobieska, Dowager Queen of Poland, left for Rome in the autumn of 1698 and arrived in the city in the spring of the following year. The queen traveled incognito, but aspired to renew the model of ceremonial used by the papal court to welcome Christina of Sweden. Even the Cardinal Congregation to establish the forms of its reception had well in mind the precedent of that ceremonial. However, it did no longer appeared usable, given the new general political context, the different meaning that the two trips assumed for the State of the Church, the different Status from the two Sovereigns, the private character of the Polish Queen’s voyage. The Congregation of Ceremonies, despite having in mind the “precedent” of Christina of Sweden’s journey, put in place a “toned down” ceremonial, compared to that of fifty years earlier, from which it recovered same aspects but set aside important others.
KEYWORDS: Travel; Papal Ceremonial; Christina of Sweden; Maria Kazimiera Sobieska; Rome.
GAETANO PLATANIA (Istituto Nazionale di Studi Romani-Roma)
TITLE: KONSTANTY SOBIESKI E LA SUA “PUTTANA” ROMANA.
ABSTRACT: After the death of Jan III Sobieski, part of the Polish royal family decided to reach Rome for the Jubilee proclaimed by Pope Innocent XII Pignatelli in 1699. In reality, they were seeking asylum and protection in the Holy City. The presence of Maria Kazimiera and her two children was never really appreciated by the Roman people and for this reason it was often the subject of gossip and rumors. While Alexander was able to become a protagonist of the social and cultural life of Rome, Konstanty was invested in a scandal that involved the entire Polish royal family and the Papal Court. Particularly famous was the “case” linked to Tolla, the young prostitute with whom the young Konstanty was infatuated. A scandalous relationship for the reputation of the entire Sobieski family.
The essay aims to present the facts of this Roman experience lived by the Polish Royal Family, presenting some unpublished “Pasquinate”, deepening an event that required the direct intervention of the Pope and some cardinals.
KEYWORDS: Konstanty Sobieski; Maria Kazimiera Sobieska; Rome; La Tollaide; Pasquinades.
ANETA MARKUSZEWKA (University of Warsaw)
TITLE: “CE NE SONT PLUS POUR MOI DES DIVERTISSEMENTS QUI ME CONVIENNENT”. LA MUSICA NELLA VITA ROMANA DI MARIA CASIMIRA, NUOVE SCOPERTE.
ABSTRACT: Maria Maria Casimira Sobieska arrived in Rome in 1699 after a journey lasting about six months. She resided in the Holy City for 15 years. The Queen loved to write letters and every week she sent many of them to her beloved children, acquaintances, friends and administrators of her possessions in Poland. From my perspective the most interesting letters were those written to her eldest son Jakub Ludwik Sobieski. In them she described the Roman feste, sacred and secular entertainments with music, the Roman opera theatres both private (as Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni’s or prince Francesco Maria Ruspoli’s) and public (as Teatro Capranica). She concentrated more on the issues of music and opera during the carnivals that were celebrated in Rome with great splendor and a dose of madness. The letters I discuss are preserved in the National Historical Archive of Minsk (Belarus), at the Sobieski Archive Fund as Fond 694, opus 1. It is a really huge collection containing thousands of documents related to Sobieski family. In the paper I do not discuss Maria Casimira Sobieska’s patronage what I did elsewhere. My main goal is to introduce her private thoughts and opinions previously unknown concerning such issues as her attitude to music, the function of her private opera theatre, the first meeting with members of the Roman Academy of Arcadia, her grand-daughter’s ability to dance and more.
KEYWORDS: Maria Casimira Sobieska; Aleksander Sobieski; Opera theatre; Music; Arcadian Academy.
FABIO BONI (Pedagogical University of Krakow)
TITLE: CHE COSA SIA LA CABALA ET A CHE SIA UTILE. UN TRATTATO CABALISTICO ALL’INTEGNO DEL LIBRO DELLA CABALA DI MARIA SOBIESKA.
ABSTRACT: TThe contribution aims to present the first text of the 2284 manuscript preserved in the Jagiellonian Library of Krakow. The work, entitled Che cosa sia la Cabala et a che sia utile, is part of a group of kabbalistic and astrological themes called Księga Kabały Marii Sobieskiej, collected by Maria Kazimiera Sobieska, wife of Jan III Sobieski, during her stays in Rome, between the years 1699-1714. This paper analyses the characteristics of the text, the sources, the anonymous author’s approach to the subject and the advice it provides to the reader who wants to learn the kabbalistic art (the writing has the structure of a treatise), finally advancing some hypotheses on the origin and the identity of the author of the work.
KEYWORDS: Sobieski’s Family; Queen Maria Kazimiera Sobieska; Cabala; XVIII Century; Rome.
HANNA OSIECKA-SAMSONOWICZ (Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences – Warsaw)
TITLE: ESEQUIE SOLENNI CELEBRATE NEL 1743 A ŻÓŁKIEW PER IL PRINCIPE REALE JAKUB LUDWIK SOBIESKI: IL LORO CONTESTO ARTISTICO E PROPAGANDISTICO.
ABSTRACT: In In December 1737, Jakub Ludwik – the oldest son of Jan III Sobieski died in Żółkiew. His daughter Maria Karolina the duchess de Bouillon, who was the only surviving heir of the Sobieski family, did not have enough financial resources to organize her father a splendid burial in the collegiate in Żółkiew. Therefore a modest funeral service took place. In 1743, after the death of the duchess, hetman Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł, who considered himself a continuator and heir to the material and cultural legacy of the royal family, arranged a sumptuous obsequies for the prince at the very same church. Archival sources of this ceremony, which has not been revealed until now, prove that the source of inspiration for the church ephemeral decoration, especially for the extended catafalque for Jakub Sobieski, was not castrum doloris erected for the Polish king Augustus II the Strong in the Roman church of S. Clemente in 1733 as it was thought before. Instead, the inspiraton turned out to be the imperial catafalques raised in the first quarter of the eighteenth century, particulary the catafalque erected in the cathedral of Vienna in 1720 for the empress Eleonor Magdalene, the sister-in-law of the prince. Extremely rich in forms of artistic creation and propaganda content, the artistic setting of the Jakub Sobieski’s funeral ceremony was not only one of the most magnificent in the eighteenth-century Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth ones, but also one of the most interesting ephemeral funeral decorations in Europe at that time.
KEYWORDS: Jakub Ludwik Sobieski; Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł; Funeral decoration in the Eighteenthcentury; Catafalque; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
FRANCESCA CECI (Musei Capitolini – Rome)
TITLE: LE MEMORIE DELLA FAMIGLIA SOBIESKI NEI MUSEI E NEGLI ARCHIVI DELLA SOVRINTENDENZA CAPITOLINA AI BENI CULTURALI DEL COMUNE DI ROMA (MUSEI CAPITOLINI, MUSEO DI ROMA, ARCHIVIO STORICO CAPITOLINO)
ABSTRACT: The article focus on two marble epigraphs and their translation preserved in the Capitoline Museums: the first one pertinent to King Jan III Sobieski, and the second one dedicated to his wife Maria Casimira. The analysis concern also other iconographic and documentary material related to the Sobieski in Rome conserved in the archival heritage of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina, some of which are unpublished.
KEYWORDS: Sobieski; Memories; Rome; Sovrintendenza Capitolina; Archive