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Unimplemented design for the polychrome for the Academic Church of the Catholic University of Lublin. View of the northern wall from the presbytery

Popularization note

An important part of Jerzy Nowosielski's work are his polychrome paintings in Orthodox, Greek and Roman Catholic churches, an expression of the coexistence of Eastern and Western culture, icon painting and abstract art. In the early 1960s, the artist received a proposal to create a polychrome in the academic church of the Catholic University of Lublin. As in the case of other monumental painting projects, he treated it as a kind of ecumenical sermon, aiming to show the unity of worship. Unfortunately, the project created by Nowosielski with a clear iconographic message was rejected. The preserved design sketches, in accordance with the traditional program of the Byzantine Church, are characterized by a zonal composition of framed scenes filling the interior. As in the case of other temples, Nowosielski prepared several versions of polychromies for the Holy Cross Church which differed both in their iconographic program and colour.

One version of the decoration of the northern wall of the nave envisaged scenes with an extended hagiographic motif. The artist created two colour variants of the painting's decoration recalling images of saints and prophets, which also differ in composition. This version, more general in character, uses a darker palette of colours, which according to the artist is particularly conducive to prayerful concentration, dominated by saturated greens, navy blues, reds and ochres.

In the geometrized sections filling the walls, the artist placed single, full-figure or bust figures of saints holding banderoles. Due to the synthetic nature of the representation, it is difficult to identify individual figures. However, we can see them as Old Testament patriarchs or saints of the first millennium before the schism, whom, as Czerni writes, Nowosielski usually depicted in Catholic temples, thus emphasizing the common Byzantine tradition of both Churches. (Nowosielski – sztuka sakralna. Podlasie, Warmia i Mazury, Lublin–Białystok 2019, p. 283).

Anna Hałata

Information about the object

Information about this object

Author / creator

Nowosielski, Jerzy (1923-2011) (painter)


cały obiekt: height: 29,5 cm, width: 20,7 cm

Object type



painting technique


tempera, paper, pencil

Creation time / dating


Creation / finding place

powstanie: Lublin (Lublin Province)


The National Museum in Lublin

Identification number


Location / status

object is not displayed now

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