The Cultural Patronage of Janusz Skumin Tyszkiewicz: The Visuality of Scientific and Commemorative Prints (Summary)

Michał Kuran (PDF)

The article analyses the glorification of the nobleman and his family by visual means in the publications dedicated and financed by Janusz Skumin Tyszkiewicz (c. 1572–1642), the Voivode of Vilnius. Fourteen works in Latin and Polish, published in Lithuania, Poland and outside the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, have been dedicated to the Voivode. The number of publications, the variety of their subjects and the multitude of authors testify to the exceptional importance of Tyszkiewicz as a book commissioner. By commissioning panegyric works, the nobleman sought to promote personal and family influence in Lithuania and Poland. The visual expression of the publications varied. In addition, the full-page illustrations depicting Tyszkiewicz and allegorically glorifying his family stood out for their particularly complex artistic programme.

The article discusses the works prepared on the occasion of the wedding of Tyszkiewicz and Barbara Naruszewicz, in memory of Janusz’s father, Teodor Skumin Tyszkiewicz, on the occasion of the betrothal of Tyszkiewicz’ daughter, the funeral sermon of Barbara Tyszkiewicz, the speech dedicated to the funeral of Tyszkiewicz, the popular encyclopaedia, the catalogue of inventions, the commemorative collection of poetry of Andrzej Loechius, which pays tribute to the 12 Johns on the occasion of the name day and a presentation of the philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas. The publications highlight the values of society and the family; Tyszkiewicz himself, the Tyszkiewicz family and his services to the Fatherland and the Church are glorified.

The variety of themes, genres and visual expressions in the publications related to Janusz Skumin Tyszkiewicz is remarkable. There is a marked difference between the Lithuanian and Polish publications. The first, closer to the family circle, are prepared more diligently. Their characteristic fusion of words and images results from the local occasional culture. Works of this kind, which are very numerous in Lithuania, were typical of the culture of the local nobility.

Keywords: nobility, glorification, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, artistic programme