The Wonder of Medieval Needlework, 'Kmita's Chasuble'
in Krakow's Cathedral Museum.
Wawel Cathedral’s 500-year-old chasuble ranks
with the world’s top masterpieces of Gothic needlework. Its
relief-like three-dimensional scenes from the life of St.
Stanislav, Krakow’s 11th-century bishop-martyr and Poland’s
patron saint, embroidered with unbelievable precision and
realism, match the best sculpture of the late 15th c.
Naturalistic features of tiny heads and detailed
faithfulness of depiction (complete with open wound on the
saint’s skull where sword struck) are truly stunning. And
masterly, dramatic composition arrests attention. The
chasuble was donated in 1503 by one Piotr Kmita, then
governor of the Krakow province, to commemorate the 250
anniversary of St. Stanislav’s canonization (the donor’s
coat of arms takes up the bottom one of eight pictures
arranged in a cross). Now the amazing robe, known as "ornat
Kmity" ("Kmita's chasuble") is the pride of the
Cathedral Museum on the
displayed permanently alongside its other treasures of
Poland's prime tourist attraction and a must in Central
Europe boasts numerous world-class monuments, charming vistas,
delightful atmosphere, and the best restaurants.
Fine Arts in
Travel to Krakow