‘Uniquely precious’ Nowosielski mosaic of St Francis of Assisi added to register of cultural property
A ceramic mosaic of St Francis of Assisi by renowned Kraków-born artist Jerzy Nowosielski, has been inscribed onto a register of movable cultural property for its artistic and historic significance.
The mosaic, which dates from 1980 and was discovered last year on the territory of the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in the Warsaw district of Izabelin, depicts the stigmatization of St Francis, when, lost in prayer on mount La Verna, the Saint had a vision of a crucified seraph, which resulted in him receiving the stigmata.
Professor Jakub Lewicki, the heritage preservation officer for the Mazovian Voivodeship, said: "It represents artistic value both in terms of the composition, but also as a work of Jerzy Nowosielski, which bears stylistic and iconographic features characteristic of the artist's body of work, but expressed by using a technique unusual for him.
“It also has a historic significance related mainly to the history of the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Izabelin as well as Nowosielski's relationship with with the parish.”
Nowosielski, who is celebrated in 2023 in the 'Year of Jerzy Nowosielski', was a painter, illustrator, graphic artist and contemporary icon artist, who was well known for his religious compositions, one of which can be found in the Greek catholic Church in Lourdes, France.
He also painted landscapes, still lives and abstracts and his works can be found in Polish museums and private collections around the world.
Established in 1951, by Primate Stefan Wyszynski, the Izabelin-Laski Parish was where, in 1980, Nowosielski created the Stimatization of St. Francis Mosiac.
However the work was considered to have been destroyed during the extension of the church which took place in the late 1980s.
It was not until November 2022 that the mosaic, almost fully intact, though requiring some conservation, was discovered in the attic of the church and transferred to one of the parish buildings.
According to Professor Krzysztof Chmielewski from the Conservation Department at the Academy of Fine Art in Warsaw, the mosaic's state allows for it to be transferred back to being displayed in the church.
Professor Lewicki added: "The discovery of its original parts makes it possible to update the oeuvre of this distinguished artist and deepen the studies on his work, which carries an additional scientific value of this artwork.
“The mosaic is a uniquely precious artefact not only for our region [the Mazovian Voivodeship], but also for the whole country."