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Brühl Palace, Warsaw

The Brühl Palace, otherwise known as Sandomierski Palace was a palace standing at Piłsudski Square. It was one of the largest palaces and one of the finest examples of rococo architecture in pre-World War II Warsaw; the palace was built between 1639-42 by Lorenzo de Sent for Crown Grand Chancellor Jerzy Ossoliński in Mannerist style. It was built on the plan of an elongated rectangle with two hexagonal towers at garden side of the building; the palace was adorned with sculptures - an allegory of Poland above the main portal, four figures of kings of Poland in the niches and a statue of Minerva crowning the roof. A possible inspiration for the palace's upper pavilion and its characteristic roof was Bonifaz Wohlmut's reconstruction of Belvedere in Prague, 1557-1563. After the Chancellor's death the property was inherited by his daughter Helena Tekla Ossolińska, wife of Aleksander Michał Lubomirski, Starost of Sandomierz. Between 1681–96, it was rebuilt and remodeled by Tylman Gamerski and Giovanni Bellotti for Prince Józef Karol Lubomirski - Aleksander Michał's son.

In 1750, Heinrich von Brühl bought the palace as a residence. Between 1754-59 it was rebuilt according to designs by Johann Friedrich Knöbel and Joachim Daniel von Jauch; the palace was covered with a mansard roof. Two outbuildings were added to the palace complex surrounding a triangular courtyard that sometimes served as a parade ground. From that time the palace was known as the Brühl Palace. On 27 May 1787, the Palace played a key role in a plot by Russian ambassador to Poland, Otto Magnus von Stackelberg, he derailed yet another Polish policy. With few major wars in the past decades, the economy of the Commonwealth was improving, its budget had a notable surplus. Many voices said that the money should be spent on increasing the size, providing new equipment for, the Polish army. However, as a large Polish army could be a threat to the Russian garrisons controlling Poland, von Stackelberg ordered his proxies in the Permanent Council to spend the money on a different goal: for the huge sum of 1 million zloty's, the Council bought the Brühl Palace - and promptly donated it to'Poland's ally', Russia, to serve as Russia's new embassy.

At the end of the eighteenth century, Dominik Merlini gave the interior a neoclassical look. During 1932-37 the palace was adapted for use as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the new Polish Republic; the architect this time was Bohdan Pniewski, who added a new modern building and modernized the interiors of all the buildings in the palace complex. It was deliberately and destroyed by the Germans on December 18, 1944. Around 2008 Warsaw’s municipal government authorities have decided to rebuild the Brühl Palace; the new building was to have a facade referring to its historic shape, but a new private investor may adapt the interiors to the needs of either office space or a hotel. As of 2019, the reconstruction has not started. Saxon Palace Saxon Garden Saxon Axis Piłsudski Square Kotowski Palace Warsaw before 1939 Picture gallery of Saxon Square History of the Saxon Palace and the Saxon Axis

Pieter van Coninxloo

Pieter van Coninxloo was an Early Netherlandish painter first documented as active in Brussels from 1479. Little is known of his life apart from his appearance in records of 1479, 1503 and 1513, in the archives of Margaret of Austria when he is mentioned in relation to the commission of portraits, he came from a family of artists. His brother was Jan van Coninxloo. Van Coninxloo specialised in portraiture, worked at different times for the Burgundian court, he is thought to have painted a c 1505 portrait, now in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, of Margaret of Austria commissioned by Philip the Good with the intention of sending it to Henry VII of England. He was employed in 1513 to paint portraits of his sisters. Max Friedländer believes he may have been one of the most significant of the Brussels school painters before Bernard van Orley; however only a handful of his works have survived, these are tentatively attributed. He is sometimes associated with the unidentified artist known as the Master of the Legend of the Magdalen, thought to have been a court painter to Margaret of Austria, who shares similarities of style and location.

A number of art historians, including Max Friedländer, who first identified the Master of the Legend of the Magdalen, speculated that they may have been the same person. He may have been a member of the master's workshop. Campbell, Lorne; the Fifteenth Century Netherlandish Schools. London: National Gallery Publications, 1998. ISBN 1-85709-171-X