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Radziwill family tree donated to National Art Museum of Belarus

Society 26.02.2017 | 22:33

The National Art Museum of Belarus has received a new addition to its collection of Radziwill family portraits and belongings, BelTA has learned.

Maciej Radziwill donated a Radziwill family tree to the museum as he unveiled the exhibition “The Radziwills: The Fate of the Country and the Family” at the National Art Museum of Belarus on 26 February. The exhibition showcases 99 items from Maciej Radziwill's personal collection and portraits from the holdings of the National Art Museum of Belarus which were kept in Nesvizh Castle until 1939.

Maciej Radziwill noted that the current exhibition is the second one of its kind in Belarus. The first one was held at Nesvizh Castle. Maciej Radziwill pointed out that the exhibition in Minsk is an attempt to remind Belarusians about the history that they cherish and take interest in.

Maciej Radziwill's collection includes portraits, paintings, drawings, miniatures, medals, and art fabrics. The exhibition presents portraits of famous representatives of the family: Barbara Radziwill, the Queen of Poland; her father Jerzy Radziwill; Mikolaj Krzysztof “the Orphan” Radziwill, the founder of the Nesvizh residence; his brother Grzegorz was the Cardinal, Bishop of Krakow; Michal Kazimierz “Rybenko” Radziwill, the founder of the manufactory of Slutsk sashes; Karol Stanislaw “Panie Kochanku” Radziwill, a shining example of freedom and independence of the nobility of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and others. Some of these portraits may have survived in a single copy. As he presented the exhibition, Maciej Radziwill shared his childhood memories associated with the portraits.

Maciej Radziwiіі's collection includes items that came from the relatives or were purchased from the acquaintances, and he knows the history of these objects. A third of the collection consists of the items purchased at auctions. The duke did not think that there was a risk of buying a fake since the artistic value of such works is sometimes not so high. Many of the portraits were made by the artisans or painted by representatives of the family as a gift.

Maciej Radziwill also said he plans to develop a family album to put together the portraits of the Radziwill family. The duke has several hundreds of photos of the Radziwills from Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania. He is also collecting photos from the Polish museums. Maciej Radziwill plans to publish the album that will include nearly 300 photos with brief biographical information in 2018.

The exhibition “The Radziwills: The Fate of the Country and the Family” will officially open in the National Art Museum on 27 February. It is running from 15 February to 16 April.

Photos by Oksana Manchuk

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