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Art, Architecture and Humanism in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth

Art, Architecture and Humanism in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth

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This text is an introduction to the art-history of the Eastern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Its subject is the classical revival in art, architecture and humanism in Poland, Lithuania and western Ukraine during the 16th and 17th centuries. Artistic and architectural developments are contextualized within political and economic history and also in relation to the demands of royal, noble and urban patronage within a Polonised Catholic culture. Consideration is given to the response of Ruthenian nobles, merchants and clergy who introduced Renaissance and Baroque forms into their own Byzantine inheritance and engaged in humanistic discourse as part of their struggle for national independence. Further attention is paid to the artistic and literary achievements of other important national groups resident in the Commonwealth, most especially the Armenian, Jewish, Karaite and Tatar communities. A major issue is the problem of conservation and restoration of such an enormous amount of devastated historical material ruined by the accidents of war and deliberated political policy.
Renaissance and Baroque Artistic and Literary Culture in Poland, Lithuania and western Rus (1506-1696)