Killing of a Franciscan Friar

Szymon Czechowicz

  • Killing of a Franciscan Friar 2
  • Killing of a Franciscan Friar 3
Basic information
Szymon Czechowicz
Killing of a Franciscan Friar
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
This is a multi-figure dynamic composition, in the center of which there is a kneeling monk; he is dressed in a brown robe girded with a thick cord with a hanging prayer rope on it. The monk's hands are raised up and to the sides. The monk is surrounded by five armed men with raised swords and daggers. One of the attackers on the left, who is dressed in white shorts and trousers, as well as a camisole and a wig, strikes the monk in the chest with a short spear. Some of the characters are dressed in traditional Swiss clothes with specific large white collars. Elements of architecture (it may be a temple) serve as a background of the painting.
Portrayed person
The name of the person portrayed
Fidelis of Sigmaringen (Mark Roy)
Lifetime of the person portrayed