Vision of St. John Cantius

Catalogue note author
Józef Skrabski


The painting attributed to Franciszek Lekszycki on the basis of similarity to another work of the same title in the parish church in Borek (Greater Poland), funded by Maciej Kazimierz Treter. The painting in Borek was attributed to Franciszek Lekszycki on the basis of formal similarities to his known works. The painter made another painting for the Piarist monastery in Warsaw, depicting a Cracovian saint. The work in the church in Cracow belongs to a large group of images emphasising the gift of fervent prayer and contemplation of the saint kneeling in front of the image of Christ Crucified or the Virgin Mary with the Child. The prototype of the images in which the Virgin Mary with the Child appears to the kneeling John Cantius was an engraving from the publishing house of the Roman printer, Jacopo Lauro, published in 1601, and repeated by Cologne copperplate engraver and printer Peter Overadt in 1605-1606. Even at that time, the cult of a distinguished professor at the Jagiellonian University was spreading outside Polish borders. The author of the work in the church in Cracow did not use these engravings, although he might have known them, but the direct graphic prototype has not been found so far. It is not excluded that the author referred to earlier images of the saint, which hang near his tomb. During the canonization process in 1666-1668, as many as 17 images of the Servant of God were noted.

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How to cite?

Józef Skrabski, "Vision of St. John Cantius", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2023, source:

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