Program ideowy gotyckich malowideł ściennych dawnej sali zebrań bractwa kupieckiego pw. NMP przy ul. Żeglarskiej 5 w Toruniu

Marcin Dawidowicz



The subject of this article is the iconography of Gothic wall-paintings in a Toruń merchant house in Żeglarska Street 5. Although Gothic polychrome wall-paintings fill interiors of many a merchant house in the city of Toruń, the role of those in Żeglarska 5 is unique and unprecedented. These frescoes decorate the walls of a meeting house of a rich merchant guild and as such give evidence of the universe of aspirations of city patricians who were part of a nobilitating religious and professional association. Since the turn of the 13th and the 14th century the building in Żeglarska 5 was the seat of the Holy Mary merchant guild and it is a rare relic of the patrician culture in the city of Toruń. The frescoes are saturated with Franciscan mysticism and spirituality and are a record of relations between the city and the Church, and of the influence of this relation on every aspect of the city’s life. There are clear analogies in the iconography, the decorative system and the interpretation between these frescoes and the propaganda of the feudal authority over these lands of the Teutonic Order. These analogies are a testament to the premeditated role of the frescoes in legitimising the very existence of the fraternity and building its prestige. 

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