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From May 26, at the Palace on the Isle of the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw, you can see the exhibition entitled Metamorphoses. The royal collection of prints by Stanisław August.

Metamorphoses exhibition. The royal collection of Stanisław August’s graphics is the next installment of the Stanisław August – patron and collector series carried out by the Royal Łazienki Museum.

In the interiors of the Palace on the Isle – in the Picture Gallery, the Ballroom and the Bathing Room, 81 prints have been exhibited, which have so far been rarely available to the public. Among the works on display there are 35 prints from the collection of Stanisław August. The remaining prints come from the collection of Jan Kanty Szembek, purchased in 1965.

In the 18th century, in the time of Stanisław August, engravings decorated the apartments on the first floor of the White House. During World War II, they were deported by the Nazis and only some of them returned to Poland after the end of hostilities. Both sets of engravings come from the same edition of Ovid’s work – the famous edition of Metamorphoses from 1767–1771 published by Pierre-François Basan and Noël Le Mire. Unlike the prints from the Szembek collection, the prints from the Royal Collection had a characteristic bookbinding binding in the form of a hand-painted green frame.

The exhibition at the Palace on the Isle was arranged in the order of the stories described in the poem by Ovid. Some of them create cycles consisting of several graphics, such as the story of the four seasons, the flood or the fate of Perseus, others are narratives enclosed in one composition. A separate group is the engravings, the content of which corresponds to the theme of the sculptures placed in the Palace on the Island. Graphics showing the stories of Marsyas, Hercules and Andromeda were presented next to their sculptural counterparts in the Ballroom and Bathing Room.

Metamorphoses. The royal collection of prints by Stanisław August
The exhibition is open from May 26 to September 1, 2013
The Palace on the Island, the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw

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