”Lady with an Ermine” at the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow

Written by  //  20 June 2012  //  Culture  //  Comments Off

Krakow is a place where one of four female portraits painted by Leonardo da Vinci, that is ”Lady with an Ermine” (ca. 1490) can be seen. The history of the painting is very interesting. It was purchased in Italy about year 1800 by the Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski as a gift for his mother Izabela Czartoryski, who wanted to open a public museum, the first of this kind in Poland. Although, the painting had not been discussed in print and no records of any previous owner existed, Prince Czartoryski was aware that it was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. As to the sitter, it is believed that the Lady is Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, who was da Vinci’s patron. ”Lady with an Ermin” is argued to be the most beautiful portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. The home of this famous painting is the Princes Czartoryski Museum at 19 St Jana Street. However, due to major renovation works at the Princes Czartoryski Museum since May 2012 the masterpiece has been temporarily exhibited at the Wawel’s Krakow Royal Castle. This exhibition is available thanks to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Princes Czartoryski Foundation, the National Museum in Krakow as well as the Wawel Royal Castle. The painting is on view in the castle’s western wing. What is imortant for all those who want to see it is that only 20 persons are allowed to enter the room with the painting at a time. During the high-season months, that is from April to October, opening hours are as follows: Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and  on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance ticket costs 10 zloty. It is a great  pride for Krakow to have such a masterpiece and this make the city even more attractive to visit.