The Feast of Three Kings (January 6) was at one time called Małe Boze Narodzenia, i.e., Little Christmas, in Poland because gifts were often given to children on this day in honor of the Three Kings who brought the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Infant Jesus. The Feast Day was a very popular motif in Polish paintings, sculpture, stained glass and folk art.
This first image is by Polish artist Teodor Baltazar Stachowicz(1800-1873) titled Pokłon Trzech Króli - Adoration of the Magi (circa 1820's). The artist himself was born on the feast day.
This bas-relief shown below originally comes from the well known St. Mary's Church(Kosciół Mariacki) in Kraków and is dated to the years 1460-1470. It comes from the workshop of Jakub of Sącz, also known as the Master of the Holy Trinity Triptych. After being located in various churches in Kraków it finally found a permanent home at the Archdiocesan Museum in the name of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła also in Kraków.
Artist Józef Mehoffer(1869-1946) practiced a variety of arts, but excelled in stained glass windows that can be found in structures throughout Kraków. He found international acclaim for designing the 13 stained glass windows of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Fribourg, Switzerland. The work took 40 years to complete and is now felt to be the most important collection of religious Art Nouveau in stained-glass windows. Among the 13 windows is the Homage of the Thee Kings.
Decorative paper cutting in Poland is called wycinanki, meaning "cutting out" and was widespread as a peasant craft in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The paper cuttings were often used to adorn the interior walls and ceiling beams of peasant cottages. The various types of cutouts and the subject matter can range from birds and animals to country and religious scenes. Here is a beautiful example of a tribute to the Three Kings from the Kurpie region of Poland.
A Polish proverb for the Feast of Three Kings:
" W święto Trzech Króli człek się w kożuch tuli"
On the feast of Three Kings man cuddles in his sheepskin coat.
One of the biggest moments in my life was being able to sign for my very own library card. When I'm not reading, researching and writing I'm riding my bike, sewing or gardening. I love flea markets, folk art, and traveling to Poland.