The collection of nine portraits of the Wardeski family of the Godziemba coat of arms, salvaged from a manor house in Dalikowo in the land of Sieradz, presents a series of ancestors from the end of the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. The conservation of the collection was conducted in 2003-2008 in the atelier of Professor Joanna Szpor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw as part of a course for students. In view of the original inscriptions on the reverse of the canvases it was necessary to apply the transparent doubling method; the genealogy of the family was illustrated with the portraits. The earliest pair of portraits of Teresa Garbowska born Krosnowska and her husband, Jozef Garbowski (1789), is still part of the current of eighteenth-century gentry painting. The reverse of both likenesses features the signature 'Jozef Faworski', who was one of the leading painters of this current. The heretofore-unknown portraits increase the number of canvases signed by him to a total of seven. Due to the visible composition changes in the portrait of Garbowska, the painting became the topic of an M. A. dissertation written by Zuzanna Soinska. Physical-chemical studies and a comparative analysis of the technique applied in the other portraits by Jozef Faworski made it possible to recreate and, for the first time, to describe his workshop. The conventions of the depiction of the Polish nobility were established, and the fashion observed by the wives - predictable. Faworski received commissions for portraits of married couples in assorted manor houses and then prepared canvases of similar sizes; the colour of the priming ground depended on the planned tones, and the artist had at his disposal a painted version of the so-called female portrait. As a rule, he executed the most frequently requested composition, i.e. from the hips up, with a hand holding a fan on a table, and all the attributes and ornaments of the fashionable gentlewoman, which, as in the case of Teresa Garbowska, the sitter could reduce or change in the last stage of completing the painting, when she was already posing for a rendition of the facial features. In the case of the discussed portrait the alteration was so considerable that only comparative studies of the binder from the 'unquestionably auteur' parts and the 'secondary fragments' revealed that they had been executed by Faworski in fat tempera with an addition of gum. The binder was 'combined' tempera composed of egg yolk, flax oil and cherry gum for a better cohesion of the paint. An analysis of the inscriptions on the reverse of the earlier studied portraits signed by Faworski and the newly discovered portraits of Teresa and Jozef Garbowski indicates that they were executed by the same author using a paintbrush - which called for considerable ease in guiding it and for recurring lettering. The presented research findings became the first description of the workshop of Jozef Faworski, an author of portraits from the range of gentry painting. They also provided directives for the conservation of the portrait of Teresa Garbowska.
prof. dr, profesor zw. ASP w Warszawie, gdzie jest pracownikiem Wydziału Konserwacji i Restauracji Dzieł Sztuki, dr nauk humanistycznych UMK w Toruniu, konserwator zabytków, autorka pierwszej w Polsce monografii technologicznej twórczości jednego malarza pt. „Michałowski nieznany”.
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