Washing the Feet of the Apostles

Szymon Czechowicz

  • Washing the Feet of the Apostles 2
  • Washing the Feet of the Apostles 3
Basic information
Szymon Czechowicz
Washing the Feet of the Apostles
Date of creation
mid-18th c.
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
94.5 x 170.3
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
The multi-figure composition is depicted in a room, in the right corner of which there is a figure of Christ washing the feet of the apostle, who makes a gesture of protest with his right hand. Christ's right hand is raised. The figure of a woman dressed in red is behind Christ. In the left part of the painting there are 10 male figures depicted talking to each other. In the center of the composition on the floor there are blue clothes (a himation ?). A lantern with six lighted candles is above the heads of those present.