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Poland and Artistic Culture of Western Europe

14 th –20 th Century

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Edited By Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarminska and Lech Sokol

In ten studies by Polish authors this book offers an overview of Polish artistic culture and its relation to Western European culture. Thematically, it ranges from fine arts, sculpture and architecture to music, drama and theatre, spanning seven centuries of European artistic culture. While forming an array of topics, it provides a perfect factual introduction into history of art and culture of Eastern and Western Europe for both professionals and readers interested in the humanities. Not only does the book provide historical knowledge, it also helps to understand the peculiar character of Polish culture by triggering the imagination. Absorbing cultural influences from the West, Poland usually tried to integrate these into its own traditions, transferring Western culture further into other parts of Eastern Europe. On other occasions Poland is broadcasting its own culture to the outside world.
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Hanna Osiecka-Samsonowicz, Polish Ceremonies in the Roman ‘Teatro del Mondo’ (1587-1696)

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Hanna Osiecka-Samsonowicz

POLISH CEREMONIES IN THE ROMAN ‘TEATRO DEL MONDO’ (1587-1696)1

Roman Baroque celebrations, a social-artistic phenomenon, extremely elaborate and important for the period, bordering on almost all the spheres of art and culture, have already had extensive literature devoted to them. They have been analyzed on the basis of archival and iconographic material from many viewpoints: typology, history, history of art, music, and theatre.2 Although it is true that firework spectacles, illuminations, pompous entries into cities, as well as courtly and ludic events, were organized not only in Rome but also in many Italian and European centres, the Roman feast was special not only because of its frequency and large scale, but above all because of its vital importance for the development of contributions by Catholic states: in the city often described in the sources as the Gran Teatro del Mondo, these, were trying, by means of various spectacles, to display their power and to provide convincing arguments for their political causes and aspirations. From Rome, the capital of Respublica Christiana, and the centre of European information, the news of the ceremonies spread out rapidly around the whole continent. The Baroque festa romana, the unquestioned protagonist of handwritten and printed accounts and diaries, was not merely a sumptuous spectacle, but also an important means of political propaganda.

Rome’s celebrations related to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were, in their majority, overlooked in West-European literature on the subject, or treated marginally; unlike...

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