Remarkable history of a painting with the criminal background

Remarkable history of a painting with the criminal background

The Church of St. Mary has many hidden secrets, which are connected not only with great history, but also with the daily life of citizens of the city. One of them is the crime story of the picture … Madonna and Child.

It was one march evening in 1599. Two brothers with nobility background – Jan and Michał Gawrońscy – for unclear reasons attacked the tailor from Cracow. Jarząbek – because that was the name of this unfortunate – seeking shelter, sheltered in the temple. You probably know the rule about asylum law in a sacred building? Well, maybe the men knew about her, but they decided to ignore it. They attacked fiercely. This brutal scene took place near the altar of St. Stanislaus between the chancel and the northern nave. Blood was not only on the walls of the building, but it also stained the honor of the brothers.

During trial the perpetrators were found guilty, but the court accepted their state of intoxication as a mitigating circumstance. As part of the compensation, Gawroński’s father decided to give the temple a painting with the Blessed Virgin and … Here the story falls apart. It is not known whether this image was ever created, because the one in the church raises many doubts. Present on the picture Jesus holds in his hands a cross ended with the image of a serpent, which – according to art historians – is to symbolize the victory of counterreformation over evil and heresy. There is no room here for repentance and sorrow. In addition, the founders also creates ambiguities: according to the current version it is a woman and a man, not father and sons. The work is one of many unexplained puzzles in history. Get to know them all!

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