Firlej's family Chapel of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary, Bejsce
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Firlej's family Chapel of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary

Bejsce

photo

The Firlej domed chapel in Bejsce is one of the most important nobility-owned mausoleums of that kind in Poland. Its lavish architectural and sculptural décor and fitting, probably made by the Tomasz Nikiel's workshop in 1593-1610, are among the most valuable domestic Mannerist works. Of similarly unique character are sculptures of quaint creatures of the Firlej family's gravestone cover, referring to symbolic impressions which were prevalent then, and probably also to "scientific" interests of the founder, voivode of Cracow Mikołaj Firlej.

History

The Chapel of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary to the parish church in Bejsce was founded by voivode of Cracow Mikołaj Firlej shortly after the death of his wife Elżbieta nee Ligęza in 1593. It was designed by an artist from the circle of Santi Gucci, maybe Tomasz Nikiel, who allegedly carried out most of the works related to the building. At the death of the founder in 1600, the mausoleum was already finished, since in December that year its altar was consecrated.  Approximately in years 1600-1610, at the initiative of priest Henryk Firlej - a brother of the deceased and a later archbishop of Gniezno, the interior was covered with wall painting, and the Nikiel's workshop finished works on the gravestone of Elżbieta and Mikołaj Firlejs. In 1620, the chapel was profaned by unspecified "Cossacks". In 1621, it was re-consecrated. In the next centuries, it was renovated only ad hoc, inter alia after 1824 (part of the wall painting was covered then), and in 1854. The mausoleum was thoroughly renovated in years 1905-1913 under the supervision of Zygmunt Hendel and Marian Heitz, with participation of Józef Kulesza's stonemason workshop.  Later on, maintenance works were carried out in the building a couple of times: in 1968-1984, 2006-2007 and 2012-2015.

Description

The Mannerist Firlej chapel is located to the south from the church in Bejsce, by the porch, on the axis of the St. Anna chapel. Built on a square plan, it is covered with a dome on pendentives, topped with a lantern. It was made of stone and plastered. Sheathing of the dome and the lantern was made of copper sheet metal. The stonework of the lantern and the sculptures in the corners (David and Judith with Holofernes head) stand out against the plain façade of the mausoleum featuring corner, Ionic pilasters and Doric entablature. The entrance from the nave to the chapel features a stone-made, double-sided portal with lavish sculptural decoration, with an open-work, stone-made gate with a neo-Renaissance grating in its clearance (designed by Z. Hendel in 1912). The interior surprises with a rich, Mannerist, architectural and sculptural décor. Walls of the chapel, apart from the western one occupied by the gravestone, were partitioned with semi-circular arcaded niches supported by decorative corbels and topped with "marble" plates in scrollwork window surrounds. Above decorative entablature, broken at the Western wall, we find deep-beam walls (with three round windows in stone frameworks) and pendentives (with coat of arms cartouches). Further above, there is a pronounced cornice (covered with sculptural decoration) and a cupola featuring coffers with rose windows, and leaves at the base of the lantern. The décor is complemented with wall painting of the beginning of the 17th century, depicting, among other things, scenes of Mary's life (on deep-beam walls), groups of angels (on the niche spandrels and pendentives), festoons with fruit (in the corners of the chapel) and window surrounds (under niches). The fitting of the chapel is invaluable and includes, inter alia, the Mannerist gravestone of Mikołaj and Elżbieta Firlej of 1600-1610 (by Tomasz Nikiel?) and the altar of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary originating from ca. 1600 (Tomasz Nikiel?), facing each other, as well as an epitaph by Marcin Badeni, made after 1824 (earlier with an urn with the heart of the deceased).

The historic building is accessible to visitors. It may be visited upon prior telephone appointment.

Compiled by Łukasz Piotr Młynarski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 08.02.2015.

Bibliography

  • Bejsce. Kaplica Firlejów przy kościele parafialny. Studium historyczno-architektoniczne, compiled by M. Kałamajska-Saeed, Warszawa 1971, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków w Kielcach.
  • Karta ewidencyjna. Architektoniczno-rzeźbiarski wystrój Kaplicy Firlejów przy kościele par. w Bejscach, compiled by FASC. Wojtasik, Kraków 2000, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków w Kielcach i Archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa w Warszawie.
  • Karta ewidencyjna. Malowidła w Kaplicy Firlejów przy kościele par. w Bejscach, compiled by FASC. Wojtasik, Kraków 2000, Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków w Kielcach i Archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa w Warszawie.
  • Adamczyk A., Modras J., Polanowski L., Prace przy zabytkach architektury sakralnej i zabudowie miejskiej, [in:] Prace konserwatorskie w woj. świętokrzyskim w latach 2001-2012, ed. J. Cedro, Kielce 2014, pp. 34-35.
  • Corpus inscriptionum Poloniae, vol. 1: Województwo kieleckie, ed. J. Szymański, fasc. 4: Miechów i Pińczów wraz regionem, publ. B. Trelińska, Kielce 1983, pp. 35-37, 39-40.
  • Fischinger A., Santi Gucci architekt i rzeźbiarz królewski XVI wieku, Kraków 1969, pp. 84-86, 133.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. 3: Województwo kieleckie, ed. J. FASC. Łoziński, B. Wolff, fasc. 9: Powiat pińczowski, compiled by K. Kutrzebianka, J. FASC. Łoziński, B. Wolff, Warszawa 1961, pp. 3-4.
  • Kurzątkowska A., Mauzoleum Firlejów w Bejscachwybitne dzieło „manieryzmu" pińczowskiego, „Biuletyn Historii Sztuki" 1968, fasc. 1, pp. 120-124.
  • Łoziński J., Grobowe kaplice kopułowe w Polsce (1520-1620), Warszawa 1973, pp. 127-136, 189-192.
  • Nawrocki R., Serpentes et draconepp. Uwagi o motywach fantastycznych w dekoracji kaplicy Firlejów w Bejscach, [in:] Studia nad sztuką renesansu i baroku, vol. V, Lublin 2004, pp. 33-59.
  • Nawrocki R., Architektura Kaplicy Firlejowskiej w Bejscach. Próba analizy programu ideowego, [in:] Kościół, społeczeństwo, kultura. Prace ofiarowane profesorowi Wiesławowi Müllerowi z okazji pięćdziesięciolecia pracy naukowej i dydaktycznej, ed. J. A. Drob, Lublin 2004, pp. 363-371.
  • Rolska I., Firlejowie Leopardzi. Studia nad patronatem i fundacjami artystycznymi w XVI-XVII wieku, Lublin 2009, pp. 237-250.
  • Stolot F., Testament Tomasza Nikła (przyczynek do dziejów pińczowskich warsztatów budowlanych i kamieniarsko-rzeźbiarskich na przełomie wieków XVI i XVII), „Biuletyn Historii Sztuki" 1970, no 3-4, pp. 227-243.
  • Wiśniewski J., Historyczny opis kościołów, miast zabytków i pamiątek w pińczowskiem, skalbmierskiem i wiślickiem, Marjówka 1927, pp. 10-12.
  • Wojtasik FASC., Zub J., Konserwacja tzw. zabytków ruchomych, [in:] Prace konserwatorskie w woj. świętokrzyskim w latach 2001-2012, ed. J. Cedro, Kielce 2014, pp. 132-133.
  • Zlat M., Sztuka polska. Renesans i manieryzm, Warszawa 2008, pp. 232-235.

General information

  • Type: chapel
  • Chronology: ok. 1593-1610 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bejsce 232
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district kazimierski, commune Bejsce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

Licence:

report issue with this site

Geoportal Map

Google Map

See also in this area