Andrzej Witold Wajda was a Polish film and theatre director. Recipient of an Honorary Oscar, the Palme d'Or, as well as Honorary Golden Lion and Golden Bear Awards, he was a prominent member of the "Polish Film School", he was known for his trilogy of war films consisting of A Generation, Kanał and Ashes and Diamonds. He is considered one of the world's most renowned filmmakers whose works chronicled his native country's political and social evolution and dealt with the myths of Polish national identity offering insightful analyses of the universal element of the Polish experience - the struggle to maintain dignity under the most trying circumstances. Four of his films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: The Promised Land, The Maids of Wilko, Man of Iron and Katyń. Wajda was born in Suwałki, the son of Aniela, a school teacher, Jakub Wajda, an army officer. Wajda's father was murdered by the Soviets in 1940 in. In 1942 he served in the Home Army. After the war, he studied to be a painter at Kraków's Academy of Fine Arts before entering the Łódź Film School.
After Wajda's apprenticeship to director Aleksander Ford, Wajda was given the opportunity to direct his own film. A Generation was his first major film. At the same time Wajda began his work as a director in theatre, including such as Michael V. Gazzo's A Hatful of Rain and Two for the Seesaw by William Gibson. Wajda made two more accomplished films, which developed further the anti-war theme of A Generation: Kanał and Ashes and Diamonds with Zbigniew Cybulski. While capable of turning out mainstream commercial fare, Wajda was more interested in works of allegory and symbolism, certain symbols recur in his films. Lotna is full of surrealistic and symbolic scenes and shots, but he managed to explore other styles, making new wave style Innocent Sorcerers with music by Krzysztof Komeda, starring Roman Polanski and Jerzy Skolimowski in the episodes. Wajda directed Samson, the story of Jacob, a Jewish boy, who wants to survive during the Nazi occupation of Poland. In the mid-1960s Wajda made The Ashes based on the novel by Polish writer Stefan Żeromski and directed several films abroad: Love at Twenty, Siberian Lady Macbeth and Gates To Paradise.
In 1967, Cybulski was killed in a train accident, whereupon the director articulated his grief with Everything for Sale, considered one of his most personal films, using the technique of a film-within-a-film to tell the story of a film maker's life and work. The following year he directed an ironic satire Hunting Flies with the script written by Janusz Głowacki and a short television film called Przekładaniec based on a screenplay by Stanisław Lem; the 1970s were the most prolific artistic period for Wajda, who made over ten films: Landscape After the Battle and Others, The Wedding – the film version of the famous Polish poetic drama by Stanisław Wyspiański, The Promised Land, Man of Marble – the film takes place in two time periods, the first film showing the episodes of Stalinism in Poland, The Shadow Line, Rough Treatment, The Orchestra Conductor, starring John Gielgud. The Birch Wood was entered into the 7th Moscow International Film Festival where Wajda won the Golden Prize for Direction.
Wajda continued to work in theatre, including Play Strindberg, Dostoyevsky's The Possessed and Nastasja Filippovna – Wajda's version of The Idiot, November Night by Wyspiański, The Immigrants by Sławomir Mrożek, The Danton Affair or The Dreams of Reason. Wajda's commitment to Poland's burgeoning Solidarity movement was manifested in Man of Iron, a thematic sequel to The Man of Marble, with Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa appearing as himself in the latter film; the film sequence is loosely based on the life of Anna Walentynowicz, a hero of socialist labor Stakhanovite turned dissident and alludes to events from real life, such as the firing of Walentynowicz from the shipyard and the underground wedding of Bogdan Borusewicz to Alina Pienkowska. The director's involvement in this movement would prompt the Polish government to force Wajda's production company out of business. For the film, Wajda won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1983, he directed Danton, starring Gérard Depardieu in the title role, a film set in 1794 dealing with the Post-Revolutionary Terror.
Made against the backdrop of the martial law in Poland, Wajda showed how revolution can change into terror and start to "eat its own children." For this film Wajda was honoured with a César Award for Best Director. In the 1980s he made A Love in Germany featuring Hanna Schygulla, The Chronicle of Amorous Incidents an adaptation of Tadeusz Konwicki's novel and The Possessed based on Dostoyevsky's novel. In theatre he prepared an interpretation of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment and other unique spectacles such as Antygone, his sequential Hamlet versions or an old Jewish play The Dybbuk. In 1989, he was the P
The Poles referred to as the Polish people, are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Poland in Central Europe who share a common ancestry, culture and are native speakers of the Polish language. The population of self-declared Poles in Poland is estimated at 37,394,000 out of an overall population of 38,538,000, of whom 36,522,000 declared Polish alone. A wide-ranging Polish diaspora exists throughout Europe, the Americas, in Australasia. Today the largest urban concentrations of Poles are within the Warsaw and Silesian metropolitan areas. Poland's history dates back over a thousand years, to c. 930–960 AD, when the Polans – an influential West Slavic tribe in the Greater Poland region, now home to such cities as Poznań, Kalisz and Września – united various Lechitic tribes under what became the Piast dynasty, thus creating the Polish state. The subsequent Christianization of Poland, in 966 CE, marked Poland's advent to the community of Western Christendom. Poles have made important contributions to the world in every major field of human endeavor.
Notable Polish émigrés – many of them forced from their homeland by historic vicissitudes – have included physicists Marie Skłodowska Curie and Joseph Rotblat, mathematician Stanisław Ulam, pianists Fryderyk Chopin and Arthur Rubinstein, actresses Helena Modjeska and Pola Negri, novelist Joseph Conrad, military leaders Tadeusz Kościuszko and Casimir Pulaski, U. S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, politician Rosa Luxemburg, filmmakers Samuel Goldwyn and the Warner Brothers, cartoonist Max Fleischer, cosmeticians Helena Rubinstein and Max Factor. Slavs have been in the territory of modern Poland for over 1500 years, they organized into tribal units, of which the larger ones were known as the Polish tribes. In the 9th and 10th centuries the tribes gave rise to developed regions along the upper Vistula, the Baltic Sea coast and in Greater Poland; the last tribal undertaking resulted in the 10th century in a lasting political structure and state, one of the West Slavic nations. The concept which has become known as the Piast Idea, the chief proponent of, Jan Ludwik Popławski, is based on the statement that the Piast homeland was inhabited by so-called "native" aboriginal Slavs and Slavonic Poles since time immemorial and only was "infiltrated" by "alien" Celts, Baltic peoples and others.
After 1945 the so-called "autochthonous" or "aboriginal" school of Polish prehistory received official backing in Poland and a considerable degree of popular support. According to this view, the Lusatian Culture which archaeologists have identified between the Oder and the Vistula in the early Iron Age, is said to be Slavonic. In contrast, the critics of this theory, such as Marija Gimbutas, regard it as an unproved hypothesis and for them the date and origin of the westward migration of the Slavs is uncharted. Polish people are the sixth largest national group in the European Union. Estimates vary depending on source, though available data suggest a total number of around 60 million people worldwide. There are 38 million Poles in Poland alone. There are Polish minorities in the surrounding countries including, indigenous minorities in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and eastern Lithuania, western Ukraine, western Belarus. There are some smaller indigenous minorities in nearby countries such as Moldova.
There is a Polish minority in Russia which includes indigenous Poles as well as those forcibly deported during and after World War II. The term "Polonia" is used in Poland to refer to people of Polish origin who live outside Polish borders estimated at around 10 to 20 million. There is a notable Polish diaspora in the United States and Canada. France has a historic relationship with Poland and has a large Polish-descendant population. Poles have lived in France since the 18th century. In the early 20th century, over a million Polish people settled in France during world wars, among them Polish émigrés fleeing either Nazi occupation or Soviet rule. In the United States, a significant number of Polish immigrants settled in Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York City, Pittsburgh and New England; the highest concentration of Polish Americans in a single New England municipality is in New Britain, Connecticut. The majority of Polish Canadians have arrived in Canada since World War II; the number of Polish immigrants increased between 1945 and 1970, again after the end of Communism in Poland in 1989.
In Brazil the majority of Polish immigrants settled in Paraná State. Smaller, but significant numbers settled in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Espírito Santo and São Paulo; the city of Curitiba has the second largest Polish diaspora in the world and Polish music and culture are quite common in the region. A recent large migration of Poles took place followi
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, abbreviated NKVD, was the interior ministry of the Soviet Union. Established in 1917 as NKVD of Russian SFSR, the agency was tasked with conducting regular police work and overseeing the country's prisons and labor camps, it was disbanded in 1930, with its functions being dispersed among other agencies, only to be reinstated as an all-union ministry in 1934. The functions of the OGPU were transferred to the NKVD in 1934, giving it a monopoly over law enforcement activities that lasted until the end of World War II. During this period, the NKVD included both ordinary public order activities, as well as secret police activities; the NKVD is known for its role in political repression and for carrying out the Great Purge under Joseph Stalin. It was led by Nikolai Yezhov and Lavrentiy Beria; the NKVD undertook mass extrajudicial executions of untold numbers of citizens, conceived and administered the Gulag system of forced labour camps. Their agents were responsible for the repression of the wealthier peasantry, as well as the mass deportations of entire nationalities to uninhabited regions of the country.
They oversaw the protection of Soviet borders and espionage, enforced Soviet policy in communist movements and puppet governments in other countries, most notably the repression and massacres in Poland. In March 1946 all People's Commissariats were renamed to Ministries, the NKVD became the Ministry of Internal Affairs. After the Russian February Revolution of 1917, the Provisional Government dissolved the Tsarist police and set up the People's Militsiya; the subsequent Russian October Revolution of 1917 saw a seizure of state power led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who established a new Bolshevik regime, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The Provisional Government's Ministry of Internal Affairs under Georgy Lvov and under Nikolai Avksentiev and Alexei Nikitin, turned into NKVD under a People's Commissar. However, the NKVD apparatus was overwhelmed by duties inherited from MVD, such as the supervision of the local governments and firefighting, the Workers' and Peasants' Militsiya staffed by proletarians was inexperienced and unqualified.
Realizing that it was left with no capable security force, the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR established a secret political police, the Cheka, led by Felix Dzerzhinsky. It gained the right to undertake quick non-judicial trials and executions, if, deemed necessary in order to "protect the Russian Socialist-Communist revolution"; the Cheka was reorganized in 1922 as the State Political Directorate, or GPU, of the NKVD of the RSFSR. In 1922 the USSR formed, with the RSFSR as its largest member; the GPU became the OGPU, under the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR. The NKVD of the RSFSR retained control of the militsiya, various other responsibilities. In 1934 the NKVD of the RSFSR was transformed into an all-union security force, the NKVD, the OGPU was incorporated into the NKVD as the Main Directorate for State Security; as a result, the NKVD took over control of all detention facilities as well as the regular police. At various times, the NKVD had the following Chief Directorates, abbreviated as "ГУ"– Главное управление, Glavnoye upravleniye.
ГУГБ – государственной безопасности, of State Security ГУРКМ– рабоче-крестьянской милиции, of Workers and Peasants Militsiya ГУПВО– пограничной и внутренней охраны, of Border and Internal Guards ГУПО– пожарной охраны, of Firefighting Services ГУШосДор– шоссейных дорог, of Highways ГУЖД– железных дорог, of Railways ГУЛаг– Главное управление исправительно-трудовых лагерей и колоний, ГЭУ – экономическое, of Economics ГТУ – транспортное, of Transport ГУВПИ – военнопленных и интернированных, of POWs and interned persons Until the reorganization begun by Nikolai Yezhov with a purge of the regional political police in the autumn of 1936 and formalized by a May 1939 directive of the All-Union NKVD by which all appointments to the local political police were controlled from the center, there was frequent tension between centralized control of local units and the collusion of those units with local and regional party elements resulting in the thwarting of Moscow's plans. Following its establishment in 1934, the NKVD underwent many organizational changes.
During Yezhov's time in office, the Great Purge reached its height from the years 1937 and 1938 alone, at least 1.3 million were arrested and 681,692 were executed for'crimes against the state'. The Gulag population swelled by 685,201 under Yezhov, nearly tripling in size in just two years, with
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese, it is situated in the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological figure Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan. In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an harmonious wilderness. Arcadia has its present-day capital at Tripoli, it covers about 18% of the Peloponnese peninsula, making it the largest regional unit on the peninsula. Arcadia has a ski resort on Mount Mainalo, located about 20 km NW of Tripoli. Other mountains of Arcadia are the Lykaion in the west; the climate consists of hot summers and mild winters in the eastern part, the southern part, the low-lying areas and the central area at altitudes lower than 1,000 m. The area receives rain during fall and winter months in the rest of Arcadia. Winter snow occurs in the mountainous areas for much of the west and the northern part, the Taygetus area, the Mainalon. After the collapse of the Roman power in the west, Arcadia remained as part of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire.
Arcadia remained a beautiful, secluded area, its inhabitants became proverbial as herdsmen leading simple pastoral unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise, immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues, by Jacopo Sannazaro in his pastoral masterpiece, Arcadia. After the Fourth Crusade, the area became a part of the Principality of Achaea, but was progressively recovered by the Byzantine Greeks of the Despotate of the Morea from the 1260s on, a process, completed in 1320; the region fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1460. With the exception of a period of Venetian rule in 1687–1715, the region remained under Turkish control until 1821; the Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego, interpreted to mean "Even in Arcadia there am I", is an example of memento mori, a cautionary reminder of the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death. The phrase is most associated with a 1647 painting by Nicolas Poussin known as "The Arcadian Shepherds".
In the painting the phrase appears as an inscription on a tomb discovered by youthful figures in classical garb. Arcadia was one of the centres of the Greek War of Independence which saw victories in their battles including one in Tripoli. After a victorious revolutionary war, Arcadia was incorporated into the newly created Greek state. Arcadia saw small emigration. In the 20th century, Arcadia experienced extensive population loss through emigration to the Americas. Many Arcadian villages lost half their inhabitants, fears arose that they would turn into ghost towns. Arcadia now has a smaller population than Corinthia. Demographers expected that its population would halve between the early 21st century; the population has fallen to 87,000 in 2011. An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter magnitude scale shook Megalopoli and the surrounding area in 1965. Large numbers of buildings were destroyed. Within a couple of years, the buildings were rebuilt anti-seismically; this earthquake revealed an underground source of lignite in the area, in 1967 construction began on the Megalopoli Power Plant, which began operating in 1970.
The mining area south of the plant is the largest mining area in the peninsula and continues to the present day with one settlement moved. In July and August 2007 forest fires caused damage in Arcadia, notably in the mountains. In 2008, a theory proposed by classicist Christos Mergoupis suggested that the mummified remains of Alexander the Great, may in fact be located in Gortynia-Arkadia, in the Peloponnese of Greece. Since 2008, this research is ongoing and being conducted in Greece; the research was first mentioned on CNN International in May 2008. When, during the Greek Dark Ages, Doric Greek was introduced to the Peloponnese, the older Arcadocypriot Greek language survived in Arcadia. Arcadocypriot never became a literary dialect. Tsan is a letter of the Greek alphabet occurring only in Arcadia, shaped like Cyrillic И; the Tsakonian language, still spoken on the coast of modern Arcadia, is a descendant of Doric Greek, as such is an extraordinary example of a surviving regional dialect of Greek.
The principal cities of Tsakonia are the Arcadian coastal towns of Tyros. The regional unit Arcadia is subdivided into 5 municipalities; these are: Gortynia Megalopoli North Kynouria South Kynouria Tripoli As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Arcadia was created out of the former prefecture Arcadia. The prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Arcadia was divided into four provinces: Province of Gortynia—Dimitsana Province of Kynouria—Leonidio Province of Mantineia—Tripolis Province of Megalopoli—MegalopolisNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece; the main towns in modern Arcadia are Tripoli, Vytina, Lagkadia, Leonidio, Levidi and Stemnitsa. Ancient cities include Acacesium, Astros, Daseae, Gortys, Heraia, Lykaio, Lycos
John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1674 until his death, one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Sobieski's military skill, demonstrated in combating the invasions of the Ottoman Empire, contributed to his prowess as King of Poland. Sobieski's 22-year reign marked a period of the Commonwealth's stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and the Khmelnytsky Uprising. Popular among his subjects, he was an able military commander, most famous for his victory over the Turks at the 1683 Battle of Vienna. After his victories over them, the Ottomans called him the "Lion of Lechistan". Official title: Joannes III, Dei Gratia rex Poloniae, magnus dux Lithuaniae, Prussiae, Samogitiae, Smolenscie, Volhyniae, Severiae, etc. Official title: Jan III, z łaski bożej, król Polski, wielki książę litewski, pruski, mazowiecki, żmudzki, kijowski, wołyński, podlaski i czernichowski, etc. English translation: John III, by the grace of God King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Prussia, Samogitia, Smolensk, Volhynia, Podlasie and Chernihiv, etc.
John Sobieski was born on 17 August 1629, in Olesko, now Ukraine part of the Ruthenian Voivodeship in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth to a renowned noble family de Sobieszyn Sobieski of Janina coat of arms. His father, Jakub Sobieski, was the Voivode of Castellan of Kraków. John Sobieski spent his childhood in Żółkiew. After graduating from the Nowodworski College in Kraków in 1643, young John Sobieski graduated from the philosophical faculty of the Jagiellonian University in 1646. After finishing his studies and his brother Marek Sobieski left for western Europe, where he spent more than two years travelling, they visited Leipzig, Paris, London and The Hague. During that time, he met influential contemporary figures such as Louis II de Bourbon, Charles II of England and William II, Prince of Orange, learned French and Italian, in addition to Latin. Both brothers returned to the Commonwealth in 1648. Upon receiving the news of the death of king Władysław IV Vasa and the hostilities of the Khmelnytsky Uprising, they volunteered for the army.
They both fought in the siege of Zamość. They commanded their own banners of cavalry. Soon, the fortunes of war separated the brothers. In 1649, Jakub fought in the Battle of Zboriv. In 1652, Marek died in Tatar captivity after his capture at the Battle of Batih. John was fought with distinction in the Battle of Berestechko. A promising commander, John was sent by King John II Casimir as one of the envoys in the diplomatic mission of Mikołaj Bieganowski to the Ottoman Empire. There, Sobieski learned the Tatar language and the Turkish language and studied Turkish military traditions and tactics, it is he participated as part of the allied Polish-Tatar forces in the 1655 Battle of Okhmativ. After the start of the Swedish invasion of Poland known as "The Deluge", John Sobieski was among the Greater Polish regiments led by Krzysztof Opaliński, Palatine of Poznań which capitulated at Ujście, swore allegiance to King Charles X Gustav of Sweden. However, around late March 1656, he abandoned their side, returning to the side of Polish king John II Casimir Vasa, enlisting under the command of hetmans Stefan Czarniecki and Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski.
By 26 May 1656 he received the position of the chorąży koronny. During the three-day-long battle of Warsaw of 1656, Sobieski commanded a 2,000-man strong regiment of Tatar cavalry, he took part in a number of engagements over the next two years, including the Siege of Toruń in 1658. In 1659 he was elected a deputy to the Sejm, was one of the Polish negotiators of the Treaty of Hadiach with the Cossacks. In 1660 he took part in the last offensive against the Swedes in Prussia, was rewarded with the office of starost of Stryj. Soon afterward he took part in the war against the Russians, participating in the Battle of Slobodyshche and Battle of Lyubar, that year he again was one of the negotiators of a new treaty with the Cossacks. Through personal connections, he became a strong supporter of the French faction in the Polish royal court, represented by Queen Marie Louise Gonzaga, his pro-French allegiance was reinforced in 1665, when he married Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d'Arquien and was promoted to the rank of Grand Marshal of the Crown.
In 1662 he was again elected a deputy to the Sejm, took part in the work on reforming the military. He was a member of the Sejm in 1664 and 1665. In between he participated in the Russian campaign of 1663. Sobieski remained loyal to the King during the Lubomirski Rebellion of 1665–66, though it was a difficult decision for him, he participated in the Sejm of 1665, after some delays, accepted the prestigious office of the Marshal of the Crown on 18 May that year. Around late April or early May 1666 he received another high office of the Commonwealth, that of the Field Crown Hetman. Soon afterward, he was defeated at the Battle of Mątwy, signed the Agreement of Łęgonice on the 21 July, which ended the Lubomirski Rebellion. In October 1667 he achieved another victory over the Cossacks of Petro Doroshenko and their Crimean Tatar
National Museum, Warsaw
The National Museum in Warsaw, popularly abbreviated as MNW, is a national museum in Warsaw, one of the largest museums in Poland and the largest in the capital. It comprises a rich collection of ancient art, counting about 11,000 pieces, an extensive gallery of Polish painting since the 16th century and a collection of foreign painting including some paintings from Adolf Hitler's private collection, ceded to the Museum by the American authorities in post-war Germany; the museum is home to numismatic collections, a gallery of applied arts and a department of oriental art, with the largest collection of Chinese art in Poland, comprising some 5,000 objects. The Museum boasts the Faras Gallery with Europe's largest collection of Nubian Christian art and the Gallery of Medieval Art with artefacts from all regions associated with Poland, supplemented by selected works created in other regions of Europe; the National Museum in Warsaw was established on 20 May 1862, as the "Museum of Fine Arts, Warsaw", in 1916 renamed "National Museum, Warsaw".
The collection, on Jerusalem Avenue, is housed in a building designed by Tadeusz Tolwiński, developed between 1927 and 1938. In 1932 an exhibition of decorative art opened in the two earlier erected wings of the building; the new building was inaugurated on 18 June 1938. The purpose-built modernistic edifice, was situated on the edge of Na Książęcem Park established between 1776–79 for Prince Kazimierz Poniatowski. From 1935 the museum director was Stanisław Lorentz, who directed an effort to save the most valuable works of art during World War II. During the invasion of Poland the building was damaged and after the Siege of Warsaw the collection was looted by the Gestapo led by Nazi historian Dagobert Frey, who had prepared a meticulous list of the most valuable artwork on official visits from Germany in 1937; the Gestapo headquarters presented Rembrandt's portrait of Maerten Soolmans as a gift to Hans Frank in occupied Kraków and packed everything else to be shipped to Berlin. After the war the Polish Government, under the supervision of Professor Lorentz, retrieved many of the works seized by the Germans.
More than 5,000 artifacts are still missing. Many works of art of, at that time unknown or of uncertain provenance were nationalized by the communist authorities using subsequent decrees and acts from 1945, 1946 and 1958 and were included in the museum collection as so-called abandoned property. At present, the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw includes over 780,000 items displayed in many permanent galleries, including the Professor Kazimierz Michałowski Faras Gallery and galleries given over to ancient art, medieval art, goldsmithing, decorative art and oriental art, as well as many temporary exhibitions. In 2008-2013 the "Polish Archaeological Mission "Tyritake" of National Museum in Warsaw" conducted works at Tyritake, Crimea. In 2016 the "Polsih Archaeological Mission "Olbia" commenced works at Olbia Ukraine. Both are headed by Alfred Twardecki curator of the Ancient Art Gallery. In 2010 the National Museum, as one of the first state institutions in the world, held an exhibition consecrated to homoerotic art - Ars Homo Erotica.
Since the 2011–12 renovation, the museum is considered as one of the most modern in Europe with a computer-led LED lighting allowing to enhance unique qualities of every painting and exhibit. In 2012 the permanent galleries underwent revolutionary changes; the curators of the museum re-arranged it and supplemented it with new works from the museum's warehouses. Paintings were not hung chronologically, but thematically: genre painting, still lifes, cityscapes, mythological, nudes. Works by Italian, Dutch and Polish artists were hung together, making it easy to observe and compare similarities and differences; the Gallery of Ancient Art, Faras Gallery, Gallery of Medieval Art, Gallery of Old Masters, Gallery of 19th-century Art and the Gallery of 20th and 21st-century, includes the works of Polish painters and sculptors and are displayed in the context of art in other countries and in different epochs. The galleries reflect the richness and diversity of traditions and historical experiences of individual nations, however, built their cultural identity on the same foundation of Greco-Roman antiquity and the Christian religion.
The Gallery of Medieval Art presents objects from the late Middle Ages, originating from different regions of today's Poland, as well as several examples of western European art. These works were designed exclusively for churches; the exhibition was designed to allow the audience to understand the role of art in the religious life of the Middle Ages. The gallery presents trans-regional phenomena from the 12th–14th centuries, such as the distinction of figurative sculpture from architecture in the Romanesque era, Central European sculpture from the circle of the Madonnas on the Lion, so-called International Gothic referred to as a courtly style. Many of the works included in the exhibition underline a distinct character of Central European regions such as Silesia between 1440 and 1520 (with large quartered polyptychs, votive a