Martyrdom of Saint Apollonia

Szymon Czechowicz

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Basic information
Szymon Czechowicz
Martyrdom of Saint Apollonia
Date of creation
mid-18th c.
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
170 x 101
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
In the center of the composition there are two figures, namely a young woman tied to a column (pillar) of dark color, and a man dressed in bright red shorts and a white shirt with a left sleeve pulled down. The female figure is dressed in a green chiton fastened with a round clasp. Her gaze is directed to the sky. In the raised right hand of the man, one can see a blacksmith's tongs with a human tooth in it. Behind the man there is a figure of a judge dressed in white clothes who is sitting on a chair. The judge is surrounded by two men with bundles of firewood in their hands. Landscape elements serve as a background of the painting.
Portrayed person
The name of the person portrayed
Saint Apollonia of Alexandria
Lifetime of the person portrayed