Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger
Oil on copper
Miniatures with 19.7 cm x 17.8 cm; total is 66.6 x 127 cm
Własność Fundacji XX. Czartoryskich/Eigentum der Stiftung der Fürsten Czartoryski, XII-536-545
Foto: Fundacja XX. Czartoryskich/Stiftung der Fürsten Czartoryski
This collection of miniatures shows the last Jagiellons to rule Poland and Lithuania: Sigismund I the Old and Sigismund II August. Sigismund I is depicted with his second wife, Bona Sforza. Their son, Sigismund II August, is shown alongside his wives Elizabeth of Habsburg (a daughter of Ferdinand I), Barbara Radziwill, and Katharina of Austria (another daughter of Ferdinand I). Katharina’s portrait begins the second row of portraits. Below the miniatures are the portraits of Sigismund II’s four sisters: Isabella Jagiello, the wife of Jan Zápolya and Queen of Hungary, as well as Sophia, Anna and Katharina. The three younger sisters were not married when these miniatures were made. The most probable reason for this is the conflict between Sigismund II and his mother, who disapproved of his clandestine marriage to Barbara Radziwiłł . This marriage also caused Bona Sforza and her younger daughters to leave the royal court. In 1556, Sophia married Henry II, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Anna played an important role during the interregnum when she was crowned Queen of Poland, only the second royal spouse in Polish history, and the only Jagiellon, to be so honoured. 1576 she married Stefan Báthory. At the age of 36 the youngest daughter, Katharina, married, the Duke of Finland, Johann III, who later became King of Sweden; in 1587 her son, Sigismund III Wasa, succeeded to the Polish-Lithuanian throne.