Portrait of Jan Sobieski on Horseback


  • Portrait of Jan Sobieski on Horseback 2
  • Portrait of Jan Sobieski on Horseback 3
Basic information
Portrait of Jan Sobieski on Horseback
Date of creation
18th c.
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
55.6 x 45.5
Information about author
Object description
Jan III Sobieski (1629–1696) of the Janina coat of arms, King of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Grand Duke Lithuanian, and since 1674 Grand Duke of Rus. He was born on August 17, 1629 in Olesko Castle. The son of Jakub Sobieski (1580–1646), the castellan of Krakow, and Teofillia Daniłowicz, daughter of Jan Daniłowicz (1570–1628), the voivode of Ruthenian Voivodship. He was married to the Frenchwoman Marie Casimire (1641–1716). Jan III Sobieski proved to be an able and courageous military leader. His military talent guaranteed the calm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on its southern borders for a long time. After the battle of Khotyn (1673) he was elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and crowned on 2 February 1676. He won the battles against the Ottoman army in Vienna and Parkany (1683). Pope Innocent XI granted Jan III Sobieski the honorary title of Defensor Fidei (Defender of the Faith) and Orthodox Majesty. He was also a patron of culture and the arts. The painting reflects Jan III Sobieski on a neutral pastel background on horseback. The king is depicted in knight's armour. The portrait was painted by a provincial artist in a restrained colour scheme. The figure is copied from the Italian painter Martino Altomonte's Battle of Vienna, where on the bottom there is the figure of Jan III on a horse, which is standing on his back legs. The objects depicted under the horse's feet are interesting: the clothes of a Turkish warrior, a turban, a shield and a sabre. This is how the provincial artist symbolically conveyed the victory of the King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth over the Turks. In the collection of the Lviv National Art Gallery there is another work with a similar composition Ж-6117.
Portrayed person
The name of the person portrayed
Jan Sobieski