Side altar of St. Nicholas

Catalogue note author
Justyna Kuska


According to the tradition and older studies, the altar of Saint Nicholas comes from the Wawel cathedral. This information, however, is not confirmed by any source. The oldest archival mentions in which the existence of the said altar was noted come from the inventories of the church in Paczółtowice from 1833, 1842 and 1860. The altar in its present shape is a heterogeneous work, which was composed in the 1880s or 1890s, largely using original sculptural and wood carving elements and the painting of Saint Nicholas, which was exhibited in the chancel, next to the high altar, at least until 1863. The painting of Saint Benedict, located in the finial of the reredos, was purchased in 1872 and placed in the reredos before 1891. The statues of Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint Cecilia and the antependium painted in floral motifs are not elements of the original altar furnishings. Their origin is not established. It is known that they were placed in the altar before 1833. In terms of style, the altar refers to the mannerist type of reredos popular in the Lesser Poland since the end of the 16th century, using Dutch ornamentation. An example of a work that is the closest in formal terms to the altar of Saint Nicholas is the altar of Saint Agnes of Rome in the parish church in Lesser Poland in Iwanowice (Miechowski poviat). The funder of the work might have been Agnieszka Tęczyńska (1578-1644), widow of Mikołaj Firlej (d. in 1601), but with the current state of knowledge this information cannot be confirmed.

How to cite?

Justyna Kuska, "Side altar of St. Nicholas", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2021, source:

Privacy policy