Massacre of the Innocents

Szymon Czechowicz

  • Massacre of the Innocents 2
  • Massacre of the Innocents 3
Basic information
Szymon Czechowicz
Massacre of the Innocents
Date of creation
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
133.5 x 90
Information about author
Szymon Czechowicz
Artist's lifetime
Szymon Czechowicz was born in an impoverished noble family in Krakow on July 28, 1689. He became an orphan at a young age. Thanks to the support of his patron and philanthropist Franciszek Ossolinski, the artist went to Rome, where he studied painting at the Academy of St. Luke under the guidance of Carlo Maratti. The first professional works of the artist were copies after famous painters, such as Rubens, Van Dyck and others; the artist drew upon their iconographic compositions. In 1765, at the invitation of Waclaw Rzewuski, he arrived at Pidhirtsi Castle in the Lviv region; by 1767, Czechowicz created 107 works that became part of the castle interior and a kind of the first museum of the artist. During the last period of his life, Szymon Czechowicz worked in Lithuania and Warsaw, where he opened his own art studio. The artist died on July 21, 1775. He was considered to be one of the best artists of the Baroque era in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Among the artist's creative legacy there are portraits and monumental paintings on sacred themes.
Object description
This is a multi-figure composition without a central character. In the lower right corner of the painting there is a figure of a kneeling woman dressed in red and blue clothes. In the left corner there are figures of two dead children looking like they are sleeping. In the center of the composition there are two men with Italian stilettos raised to deliver a blow. Elements of architectural columns are depicted in the upper right corner; angels in the image of children watching events are shown in the left corner of the painting.