: 61-66
L'viv Polytechnic National University
Drohobych Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University

The canvas, presented at the Department of Ancient History exposition of the Lviv Historical Museum, is one of several dozen replicas retained today, which were duplicated and repainted for a long time after the original has been pained in the last years of the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It is as assumed that there were so many of first canvas-samples as depicted on the painting voivodships and lands. These compositions have been created as a result of the laws of 1776 and 1780 that enforced Sejm of the Commonwealth to introduce a so called uniforms for the deputy ambassadors elected by each voivodship. Structurally we can distinguish four composite elements of the picture – the image of the nobility dressed in the uniform, the list of names of the administrative units included in the Commonwealth, the coats of arms of these territories and the general background of the composition, which also has a certain symbolic significance. In the painting there are 48 names of voivodships, principalities, counties and lands that were included or directly related to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The presented administrative units represent an imaginary geography, which includes the different territories that at one or another period of time belonged to the Commonwealth or in regards of which this state had certain political ambitions. With the listed administrative units of the Commonwealth, 46 coats of arms of different voivodships, lands, counties and principalities are logically linked. Another coat of arms is depicted directly below, among the list of administrative units of the Commonwealth is the coat of arms of the city of Krakow, as the symbolic capital of the state. The main theme of the painting is a gathering of nobility itself. 31 figures of the noblemen in national clothes in front symbolize ambassadors of general sejm from different regions of the state. The painting gives us an idea of how the approved voivods' uniforms of the Sejm Ambassadors looked like. Noblemen are painted wearing colorful high confederates, kuntushes, striped with golden belts with sabers and high boots. The allegorical image of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has become an important symbolic plot in the collective memory of the gentry – contemporaries and descendants of those who have participated in the political life of Poland in the last years of its existence, as well as a symbol of the sadness of the lost state and the generalized way of the special governmental orders of this state. The painting is an interesting source of local heraldry and even a manifestation of political claims, shown in some of the coat of arms and names of historical lands.

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