JAN WOLFF. ARCHITECT'S MONOGRAPHY IN SIGHT OF THE ANALYSIS OF PREFABRICATED STUCCO DECORATION ELEMENTS (Jan Wolff. Monografia architekta w swietle analizy prefabrykowanych elementów dekoracji sztukatorskich)
Jan Wolff, a guild mason who was active in eastern Malopolska and in Ruthenia , has until now been unjustly regarded as a contractor who realized the projects of Jan Jaroszewicz. However, he should rather be regarded as the author of the majority of buildings which were erected by him and the allegation that he cooperated with Jaroszewicz finds no sufficient support in facts. Among the most characteristic features of Wolff's architecture are the decorations of the ceiling consisting of wooden trims and plates which were impressed by means of dies. On his most spectacular works Jan Wolff had placed his own seal as well as initials and date of completion. Among the buildings which bear his seal are, among others, the churches in Czemierniki (whose construction he took over after another mason and which he completed in 1614), Turobin (completed: 1623?) and Leszniow (1629-1631). Wolff is also attributed with the authorship of the church in Uchanie (completed in 1625), the Firlej family chapel in the Dominican church in Lubin (completed in 1630), the Orthodox church of St. Nicolas in Zamosc (completed in 1612), and the restructuring of the parish church in Rohatyn. On the basis of an analysis of the plates, one may broaden his ouvre to include the decoration of two rooms in the convent of the St. Brigid in Lubin (circa 1612) and participation in the decoration of the presbytery of the church of the same order, of the church in Czerniejow (1608-1611), the decoration of the church of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites in Lublin (1635-1644), the completion of the construction of the Franciscan church in Szczebrzeszyn (completed in 1638) and of the parish church in Radzyn Podlaski ( completed in 1641?). Jan Wolff was also employed on prestigious construction sites of lay buildings on the territory of the Zamojski entail. In the years 1641-1642 (construction of the palace in Zamosc and in the years 1639/1640 -1651 restructuring the town hall in Zamosc). He was also the author of a few historic tenement houses (Nos 4 and 21 in the Grand Market Square and at No 15 Staszica St.) and may be attributed with the authorship of buildings at Nos 10 and 17 in the Grand Market Square as well as with the grandest of them all, at No 26 Grand Market Square. A careful analysis also allows one to rule out Wolff's authorship in several cases: the ceilings in the collegiate church in Zamosc of the tower in the parish church in Szczebrzeszyn, and the churches in Dysa and Leczna; also, he was not the author of the extension of the Firlejs' palace in Dabrowica and of the tenement buildings at No 19 and 25 in the Market Square in Zamosc. Apart from the decorations, the buildings erected by Wolff share similar proportions and systems of architectural articulation; they also share patterns of the decoration of the ceiling. His creative work had remained under the influence of the collegiate church in Zamosc and the works of Jacob Balin. A wider context for the architecture of Wolff is provided by German art, whereas the analogies between his work and that to be found on the territory of Lower Saxony, allow one to suppose that the architect was well acquainted with this milieu.
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