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Madonna

Christmas Card
1938 (Printed and published)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Wiktoria Gorynska was a Polish artist, illustrator, writer and broadcaster active in the late 1920s and 1930s. She spent her childhood in England but studied in Vienna, Warsaw and Berlin. She was a member of the Polish Society of Graphic Artists, working mainly in wood engraving, and was best known for religious, animal, and sporting subjects. Ethnically Jewish, she went into hiding after the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and was active in the resistance, joining the editorial board of the ZWZ (Związek Walki Zbrojnej - Union of Armed Struggle) Home Army's journal Biuletyn. She was captured during the1944 Warsaw Uprising and deported to the Ravensbruck concentration camp where she died in late1944 or early 1945.

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a 6th to 9th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin and Child of the type known as Hodegetria (Guide of Wayfarers) because of the Virgin’s gesture indicating the Christ child on her arm as the way to salvation. It has been venerated in its current location, the monastery of Jasna Góra (Hill of Light) in the city of Częstochowa in Southern Poland, since 1384. According to legend, the original icon, of which little remains after various restorations, was painted by Saint Luke on a cedar table top from the house of the Holy Family in Nazareth. Pope Clement XI recognised the thaumaturgic prestige of the icon with a canonical coronation in 1717 and subsequent depictions show the Virgin and Christ child wearing crowns. For Poles, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a symbol of Polish national identity and she is especially invoked in times of national crisis or peril.


Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleMadonna (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
Wood engraving on paper
Brief description
Wiktoria Gorynska (1902 - 1944 or 1945)
Madonna
Christmas card depiciting the Black Madonna of Częstochowa
Issued by Redfern Publishing Co. Ltd., 1938
Wood engraving
Physical description
Rectangular (portrait format) folder card (single sheet of paper folded into quarters). Front: circular image printed in black and orange depicting the Black Madonna of Częstochowa with the monastery of Jasna Gόra in the background within a circular border lettered LAETI FIANT DIES FESTI . FAUSTUS FELIXQUE ANNUS NOVUS .
Dimensions
  • Height: 11cm (Note: folded)
  • Width: 8.9cm (Note: folded)
Content description
The Black Madonna of Częstochowa with the monastery of Jasna Gόra in the background.
Production typeLimited edition
Marks and inscriptions
  • LAETI FIANT DIES FESTI . FAUSTUS FELIXQUE ANNUS NOVUS . (Lettered within the design)
  • 2407 Redfern Publishing Co. Ltd (On the back, printed in black)
  • MADONNA Original wood engraving by W. Gorynska (Inside front, printed in black)
  • With Best Wishes for Christmas and for the New Year (Inside back, printed in black)
Subjects depicted
Places depicted
Summary
Wiktoria Gorynska was a Polish artist, illustrator, writer and broadcaster active in the late 1920s and 1930s. She spent her childhood in England but studied in Vienna, Warsaw and Berlin. She was a member of the Polish Society of Graphic Artists, working mainly in wood engraving, and was best known for religious, animal, and sporting subjects. Ethnically Jewish, she went into hiding after the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and was active in the resistance, joining the editorial board of the ZWZ (Związek Walki Zbrojnej - Union of Armed Struggle) Home Army's journal Biuletyn. She was captured during the1944 Warsaw Uprising and deported to the Ravensbruck concentration camp where she died in late1944 or early 1945.

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a 6th to 9th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin and Child of the type known as Hodegetria (Guide of Wayfarers) because of the Virgin’s gesture indicating the Christ child on her arm as the way to salvation. It has been venerated in its current location, the monastery of Jasna Góra (Hill of Light) in the city of Częstochowa in Southern Poland, since 1384. According to legend, the original icon, of which little remains after various restorations, was painted by Saint Luke on a cedar table top from the house of the Holy Family in Nazareth. Pope Clement XI recognised the thaumaturgic prestige of the icon with a canonical coronation in 1717 and subsequent depictions show the Virgin and Christ child wearing crowns. For Poles, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a symbol of Polish national identity and she is especially invoked in times of national crisis or peril.
Collection
Accession number
E.715-2018

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Record createdMay 21, 2018
Record URL
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