Virtual Museum

One of the most precious objects in the collection of The National Museum in Szczecin – "Portrait of Pomeranian Duke Philip I” by Lucas Cranach the Younger, on account of Fundacja Wirtualizacji Narodowego Dziedzictwa Kulturowego (Foundation for Virtualisation of the National Cultural Heritage), may be viewed at exceptionally high resolution of 17 billion pixel.

filip i gigapixel

Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515–1586) 
Portrait of Pomeranian Duke Philip I, 1541 
oil on board, 60 x 46 cm
The National Museum in Szczecin

The original painting may be admired at The National Museum in Szczecin – The Museum of Regional Traditions (ul. Staromłyńska 27) within the permanent exhibition "The Golden Age of Pomerania. Art at the Court of Pomeranian Dukes in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”

Lucas Cranach the Younger was born on October 4th 1515 in Wittenberg, Germany. He was the son of the then famous artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, the court painter of the rulers of Saxony. He was educated by his father, he was his main associate, and after his death in 1553 he took charge of the workshop. The Cranachs specialised in both religious and mythological paintings, as well as in portraits. Lucas Cranach the Younger for a long time remained in the shadow of his father, and his work was seen only as a continuation of the style developed by the master. Only recently has he been appreciated as an independent artist who made his own contribution to German art of the 16th century.

Painted in 1541, "Portrait of Pomeranian Duke Philip I" belongs to the early period in the artistic work of Lucas Cranach the Younger. It is one of the most precious paintings in the collection of The National Museum in Szczecin, important also because of the portrayed person: a duke of Wolgast, a patron of the arts and benefactor of the University in Greifswald, who in 1534, together with Barnim IX (XI) ruling Szczecin at that time, introduced Lutheranism in Pomerania (in 1536 he married Maria, the daughter of the Saxon elector, Johann the Constant, and the wedding was presided over by Martin Luther himself). By an interesting coincidence, Philip I was born in the same year as Lucas Cranach the Younger, just a few months earlier, on July 14th 1515.

The portrait depicts Philip I at the age of 26. The artist focused primarily on the duke's face, clearly idealising it, but at the same time recreating its features faithfully, with remarkable meticulousness. The ruler is dressed in a wams and a coat, his left hand resting on the hilt of the rapier. In the upper left corner of the painting there is the Cranach sign and the date 1541. The authorship of the painting, previously considered to be the work of Lucas Cranach the Elder, since the 1990s has been associated with the artist's son, who worked in his father's workshop since 1527.


Virtual Dohrn's Antiquarium

This time we would like to invite you to detailed exploration of 3D scans of objects selected among the largest European collection of bronze reconstructions of famous ancient sculptures. The exhibits are presented at the permanent exposition entitled "Ancient Roots of Europe. Dohrns' Szczecin Collection” in the National Museum in Szczecin at Wały Chrobrego.

The Discobolus

Myron of Eleutherae, ca. 460–450 B.C.
copy made of bronze in years 1905–1909 at WMF Geislingen (Germany)

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Myron, one of the most famous sculptors of the classical period, worked around 480–445 B.C., mainly in Athens. He was famous for the sculptures set on the Acropolis of Athens, including the depiction of a cow being led to be sacrificed, reportedly so realistic that some lions attacked it.

"The Discobolus" was valued for its author's effective approach to the subject. The discus thrower was captured in a brief moment of rest, concentrating forces before making a sudden movement. Despite its innovative character, Myron's sculpture has retained many features of the art of the archaic period. It is a "relief detached from the background", intended to be viewed only from one frontal perspective.

The original sculpture has not survived and it is known on account of several damaged copies and descriptions. Szczecin's "Discobolus" is a reconstruction of the alleged original appearance of Myron's work, made according to the concept of A. Furtwängler (some parts, including the head and the hand with a disc, were reconstructed).


Lysippos of Sicyon, ca. 330–320 B.C.
bronze copy made in years 1905–1909 at WMF Geislingen (Germany)

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Lysippos, who worked in the years 350–330 B.C., was the last of the great Greek artists of the classical period. Close to Alexander of Macedon, he accompanied him on his expeditions. Contrary to the classics (Phidias, Polykleitos, Myron), his assumption was not to reach the abstract ideal of beauty by perfecting the form (e.g. by mathematical calculations), but to observe and imitate nature. He created his own canon of depicting the figure, more heavy-set and muscular in relation to the canon of Polykleitos, which was initially a model for him. 

Apoxyomenos is a depiction of an athlete during his toilet after a competition – a topic often taken up by artists of that time. After the bath, one rubbed themselves with oil, and its excess was removed from the skin with a bronze scraper (strigillum). A casual pose and stretched out arm break with the traditional pursuit of maximum harmony and peace. Lysippos introduces movement into his work, which adds some boldness to the composition and enriches the image of the musculature.

Apoxyomenos was famous in the ancient times. The Roman emperor Augustus moved the statue to public baths in Rome. His successor Tiberius, delighted with the beauty of the sculpture, wanted to move it to his private apartments, but had to give up this intention due to the outrage of the people.

The original sculpture was lost during the fall of Rome, but numerous quality copies have survived. The most faithful is the statue found in 1849 in the Vatican collection, which served as the model for the sculpture of Szczecin.

Alexander the Great (?) so-called Alexander Rondanini

Leochares (?), ca. 330–320 B.C. 
bronze copy, made in years 1905–1909 at WMF Geislingen (Germany)

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The portrait is a fragment of a statue depicting Helios, the god of the Sun, located in Olympia. The sculpture has been traditionally considered to be the image of Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.), the king of Macedonia, one of the most famous leaders of antiquity, who extended Greek rule and culture to the Middle East and Egypt. Alexander was sometimes compared to Helios which may have brought the supposition that he was portrayed as the Sun deity. The traditional name of the sculpture comes from the Italian family to which it belonged for a long time.

Boy with Thorn (called Spinario)

Pasiteles, 80–50 B.C.  
bronze copy made in years 1905–1909 at WMF Geislingen (Germany)

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The statue was sculpted three centuries after the times of Polykleitos; it was, however, created in the spirit of his sculptures, so at the beginning of the existence of the Szczecin collection it was commonly attributed to this master. The creator of the work was probably Pasiteles, a Greek who settled in Rome, one of the most famous sculptors of the first century B.C., valued by, among others, Cicero. The bronze sculpture was found in Rome at the beginning of the Renaissance and was greatly popular as a rare example of a Greek bronze original.

The Aphrodite of Knidos

Praxiteles of Athens, 364–361 B.C. 
marble copy made in years 1905–1909 in Rome by sculptor Hans Everding

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Praxiteles (working ca. 370340 B.C.) is considered one of the two greatest Greek sculptors of the 4th century B.C. Initially, he followed the example of Phidias, but with time he developed his own style and canon. Compared to the sculptures of the 5th-century masters, his works are lighter and more slender, and their silhouettes are more dynamic. In ancient times, he was considered a master of charm, showing the gods as beautiful, youthful, careless beings.

The statue of Aphrodite made of marble for the temple of this goddess located on the island of Knidos was one of his most famous sculptures. Contrary to traditional figures, Praxiteles showed the deity naked, while entering a bath. The contrast between the smooth body and the pleated fabric emphasizes the perfect beauty of the figure. The statue of Aphrodite was considered a work comparable to those by Phidias. People used to travel to Knidos to see the work, admiring especially the shape of the head and the face of the figure. The work was admired even after the introduction of Christianity. The Byzantine emperor Theodosius took the statue to Constantinople and placed it in the imperial palace. In 475 A.D. the sculpture was destroyed in a great fire.

Phryne, a famous Athenian courtesan, is told to have modelled for the image of Aphrodite. In 354 B.C., accused by a rejected lover for insult, she stood in front of the council of elders (the Areopagus). The judges ordered her to appear naked to assess whether her beauty was truly divine. When Phryne took off her robes, they decided that such a beautiful body could not hide an evil spirit and released her from the charges. From then on, Phryne was considered the most beautiful woman since the time of Helen of Troy.

The Szczecin sculpture was based on several copies in the attempt to grasp the features of Praxiteles' art and give it a character known from the descriptions. Although some of Furtwängler's decisions raise doubts today, the whole is one of the most suggestive reconstructions of Praxiteles' work.


Explore the foundation service including more virtual works of art and relics (also from West Pomerania).

Fundacja Wirtualizacji Narodowego Dziedzictwa Kulturowego