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“It was considered a work destroyed during the expansion of the church.” The mosaic by Jerzy Nowosielski is already a monument

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I entered the ceramic mosaic “Stigmatization of St. Francis” by Jerzy Nowosielski from 1980 in the register of movable monuments of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, found in the parish of st. Francis of Assisi in Izabelin – informed the Mazovian provincial conservator of monuments prof. Jakub Lewicki. He explained that the mosaic is valuable for Polish culture and sacral art.

“It presents artistic value both in terms of composition and as a work by Jerzy Nowosielski with stylistic and iconographic features characteristic of the artist’s work, but expressed using an unusual technique for him. It also has historical value related mainly to the history of the church of St. Francis of Assisi in Izabelin and Nowosielski’s relationship with the parish,” he added.

The mosaic, due to the use of defective technology, was gradually destroyed and during the expansion of the church it was completely removed and considered destroyed. “Finding its original parts makes it possible to supplement the catalog of the outstanding artist’s works and to deepen the study of his work, which brings additional scientific value to this work” – emphasized the conservator, adding that the mosaic is an exceptionally valuable monument in the context of not only the region, but also the country .

READ: It lasted five years and was divided into stages. The renovation of the church in Wola has been completed.

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“It was considered a work destroyed during the expansion of the church”

The Izabelin-Laski parish was established by Primate Stefan Wyszyński in 1951. Prof. In August 1980, Jerzy Nowosielski made the mosaic “Stigmatization of St. Francis” there. It was considered a work destroyed during the extension of the church, which took place in the late 1980s.

In November 2022, the mosaic was found in the attic of the church and moved to the parish buildings. The composition survived almost in its entirety, but it required conservation. “According to the preliminary opinion of Prof. Krzysztof Chmielewski (Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art), it is suitable for translocation to a church wall” – said Prof. Levitical.

The mosaic “Stigmatization of St. Francis” was arranged by Jerzy Nowosielski on August 6-20, 1980 on the front wall of the eastern nave of the church, on the left side of the presbytery. Illustrates a scene from the life of St. Francis of Assisi – a vision on Mount La Verna, during which the saint immersed in prayer saw Christ in the form of a crucified Seraphim and received bloody stigmata. To make a mosaic dedicated to St. Francis, the parish was courting him for several years.

According to the original version of the mosaic in a bright range of whites and turquoise greys, St. Francis, with his arms outstretched, stands on top of a turquoise rock under a cross from which hangs a six-winged Seraphim. Finally, the artist expanded the iconography of the scene with four figures placed on the sides. In the upper zone there are: Mother of God and St. John the Baptist, below St. Clare and St. Anthony. Currently, the mosaic is defragmented.

SEE: Mosaics from the “health resort” in Mokotów, a monument. “An extremely valuable work of Polish applied art of the 1960s.”

The year of Jerzy Nowosielski

The year 2023 was established by a resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland as the Year of Jerzy Nowosielski. In 2024, the jubilee of the 800th anniversary of the stigmatization of St. Francis of Assisi. The author of the Isabella mosaic – Jerzy Nowosielski, a Krakow avant-garde painter and Orthodox thinker, an outstanding professor at the Krakow Academy – is the author of decoration projects for many Catholic and Orthodox churches. For sacral decorations, the painter usually drew inspiration from Byzantine icons, hence the figures are situated frontally and are characterized by rigid poses and gestures.

Main photo source: MWKZ

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