The Portrait and Personal Identity: Princess Maria Anna Teresa (Summary)

Tojana Račiūnaitė (PDF)

The Covent of the Visitation Sisters in Warsaw holds a portrait of the daughter of John Casimir Vasa and Louise Marie, Princess Maria Anna Teresa, from the mid-17th century attributed to Daniel Schultz. The article is dedicated to the analysis of the painting mentioned above in the aspect of constructing a person’s social identity. The study aimed to reveal the factors determining the appearance of such works and to recognise from what components the visual representation of the early deceased personality who did not create a history of her own is constructed.

The representative of a royal family, the daughter of John Casimir and Louise Marie, is most directly represented in the portrait by her face. The artist skilfully combined the well-known from paintings features of her mother and father.

Louise Marie was most probably the author of the iconographic programme of this image as if she constructed the identity of her daughter as a holy princess. The image can be analysed as an imaginative portrait whose shape is determined by concrete occasional aspects. Another identity of the girl obviously projected in the painting is her belonging to the rank of the saints. In this representation of expectations, one can recognise the holy princess reminiscent of the saint of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Casimir Jagiellonian, and the holy Carmelite, associated with a namesake of the deceased and the spiritual patron of the queen, the Blessed Teresa of Poland (Marchocka) and her inspirer St Theresa of Avila.

Keywords: Daniel Schultz, portrait of the 17th century, Louise Marie, John Casimir