Extraordinary Painting after Conservation

"Portrait of the Authorities of St. Gertrude's Hospital in Szczecin" may be seen again at the exhibition "Szczecin in Swedish and Prussian Times" in the National Museum in Szczecin – the Szczecin History Museum. 

The unique painting in an extraordinary frame has undergone conservation.  


The object arrived at the Painting and Sculpture Conservation Studio contaminated, with numerous mechanical and technological damages, with a loss in the crowning and lacking parts of the framing. The conservation treatment began after dismantling particular elements. The epitaph was cleaned and lacking wooden elements were reconstructed. The losses in the ground and painting layer were filled in and gilding and silver-plating were reconstructed. At the final stage, the original crackings and patina were reproduced.  


Heinrich Redtel (1610 – ca. 1680)
Portrait of the Authorities of St. Gertrude's Hospital in Szczecin
Szczecin, 1666
painting: oil on oak board
frame: oak wood, polychromy, gildings
H: 176.5 cm, W: 146.5 cm, D: 27 cm

The painting depicts a group of former citizens of Szczecin. Gilded inscriptions on the framing inform about the circumstances of the creation of this work of art and the depicted persons. They are authorities of the church hospital of St. Gertrude elected in 1666. The building was located in the harbour suburbs, in Łasztownia island, where a nineteenth-century Holy Trinity Evangelical Church may be seen today. The painting commemorates the development of the hospital, which from the 14th century served the inhabitants of the vicinity, the poor and the travellers arriving in the harbour city. The main figure, distinctive by his central position and size, is Pastor Mattheus Grosserech. He is accompanied by other patricians and deacons connected with the hospital. The dove representing the Holy Spirit above the heads of the figures is radiating with light symbolysing the support of God and blessing in performing deeds of charity and fulfilling the duties of helping others. 

The painting authorship has been attributed to Szczecin painter Heinrich Redtel, a son of Martin Redtel, Duke Philip II's court painter. Numerous paintings of religious topics and portraits of renown members of Protestant environment of Szczecin and its vicinity have been bound with his output.  

By Kinga Krasnodębska (The NMS Department of Old Art)



Before the conservation - after the conservation 

epitafium 3


epitafium 2