The exhibition of European painting is a testimony to the contacts of the Lublin community with leading art centres in Europe.
Pilate washing his hands, an outstanding world-class masterpiece by Hendrick ter Brugghen is the central point of the exhibition.
The exhibition of European painting includes over 30 Dutch, Flemish, Italian, German and French paintings created in the 17th and 18th centuries, representing the art of the Baroque. The pride of the exhibition is Pilate washing his hands by Hendrick ter Brugghen, an outstanding Dutch painter from the beginning of the 17th century. Further on, one can see the work of another great Caravaggist – Concerto by Gerrit van Honhorst.
The still lives popular in the 17th century Netherlands are adjacent to animalistic paintings, such as: Dogs fighting with foxes by Abraham Hondius and Domestic fowls from the studio of Melchior Hondecoeter. Among the works of Italians, the Landscape before storm from the circle of Salvator Rosa deserves attention. The Mountain scene by the Austrian painter Johann Christian Brand enchants with an extraordinary wealth of details and workshop skills. Portrait of an unknown painter by the excellent Jan Kupetzký is an interesting example of Baroque portrait painting.
The painting exhibition, creating a certain cultural entity, is enriched with works of decorative art.
The parallel exhibition of decorative arts includes objects of Polish and European craftsmanship, created from the 16th to the 20th century. The Dutch furniture – a cupboard, a hall wardrobe and a chest from the 17th century – as well as two magnificent Gdansk wardrobes (one from Baroque times and the second one with Rococo features) deserve special attention. Exhibits of a smaller format are thematically presented in antique cabinets and cupboards.
Particularly rich and valuable is the collection of old porcelain from leading European factories (Meissen, Vienna, Berlin), and the Polish ones (Korzec, Baranówka) that includes a plate from the famous swan service. Apart from porcelain, one can also see interesting Nieborów majolica, Dutch, German and Silesian faience, as well as very rare stoneware from Tomaszów Lubelski.
Among the group of metal products, one can notice silverware made in Lublin workshops in the first half of the 19th century, mainly tableware, candlesticks from the workshops of Karol Rotkiel, Józef Suchocki, Jan Gałecki, Stefan Paszkowski and Izaak Sztern, as well as several valuable tile clocks, including an excellent work of the Vilnius clockmaker Jakub Gierke from 1646.
In 2018, the collection of decorative arts was enriched by a donation from Iwona and Ireneusz Hofman – 12 French fireplace clocks of high artistic value. Particularly noteworthy is the 18th-century clock of Boulle type, decorated with a cladding from tortoiseshell and brass.