And another in my series of items on display in the Museum of Warsaw that I think are interesting, this post is about a remnant which is on the ground floor display of architectural features. Warsaw’s near destruction towards the end of the Second World War meant that there were no shortage of remnants like this and so it’s positive that at least some have survived. The destruction of this item wasn’t down to the Germans on this occasion, it was looted by the Swedes in the sixteenth century. They were extracted from the Vistula River in 1906 as the barge they were on sunk during the transportation to Sweden.
It’s Cupid with a baton which was part of a garden fountain from the Kazimierz Palace, a structure now part of Warsaw University and which has been knocked about many times over the centuries (more information on Wikipedia’s page about the building). It dates from the first building which was constructed on the site between 1637 until 1641, designed to be lived in for some of the year by King Władysław IV. Apparently made from Carrara marble, Cupid would once have been holding a club which would have been hitting a dolphin. Apparently this wasn’t meant to be an aggressive act (although it doesn’t sound ideal), just showing that Cupid was stopping excessive dolphin behaviour….
I like the history of this item though, lovingly created, stolen by the Swedes, lost in the river for over two centuries, lifted back up, cleaned and then put on display (all whilst surviving the Second World War).