Chapel of St. Hedwig

The Chapel of St. Hedwig was founded around 1460 by the guild of tailors. Originally, the chapel had a lower and up-per part. It boasts a Gothic vault supported on a pillar. There is a clerestory designed to give the nave some light. There was a gallery but it was demolished.

The altar dates from the 4th ąuarter of the 17th century. It is dedicated to the holy Widows (S. S. Viduarum). In the center of the altar, there is a painting of the “Holy Widows”: St. Hedwig, St. Helena, St. Margaret the Swedish, St. Frances of Romę, St. Elizabeth. It was painted by Franz Heigl (?) (1737) painter from Świdnica. In the upper part of the altarpiece, there is de-picted “Vision of St. Hedwig.” In the finial, there is a painting “Maria Magdalena”. Female figures from the top of the altarpiece of the Holy Widows are attributed to Weber.

The chapel boasts a valuable Renaissance epitaph of Dutch type (Epitaph of Andreas Nauck and his wife Ludmiła). Alder-man Andreas Nauck died in 1567, and in 1584, his wife Ludmilla von Pforterin. The frame is decorated with black ornament with arabesąue motif, caryatids and ornamental fittings.

In the finial decorated with ornamental fittings, you will find a ąuotation from the Book of Genesis 47.9 “Genesis am 47 Cap./ Jacob sprach zu Pharao Die Zeit meiner Wal/fart ist hundert und drcilsig jar wenig und botls/ ist die zeit meiner walfart und langet mit an/ die Zeit meiner Vatter im / Ihrer Walffarth” (“Jacob said to Pharaoh: the number of years of my pilgrimage – hundred and thirty. Not very long and sad were the years of my life, they are not as long as the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers” Genesis 47.9).

In the center of the epitaph is a picture “Joseph presents his father Jacob and brothers to Pharaoh.” An important element of the composition of the painting is the effect of perspective used in presentation of architecture – a common feature found in Silesian art as of the mid-sixteenth century. That was inspired by treaties of Vedemanna Hans de Vries (1527-1604). Notę antique-like approach to the subject and the perspective of the painting as well as its elear tonę.

Ornamental uniformity of this period is a result of the wide-spread use of graphical templates (caryatids, festoons, ribbons, angels, lion heads, masks, arabesque decorations). The frames of the epitaph are decorated with Dutch ornamental motifs com-monly used at that time – a combination of arabesque ornament with decorative fittings and caryatids.

In the lower part of the epitaph is a medallion with a depic-tion of spouses on their knees in a pose of prayer at the plaąue. There is an inscription: “Im lar 1567 den 18 tag Febr. Ist inn/ Gott seliglich entschlaffender Erbare Wol=/ weiseherr Andreas Nauck des Raths all/ hie Damach im lar 1584 den 23 tag May/ ist die Erbare Tugentsamme fraw Ludimil=/la geborne Pfortnerin sein ehliche Hausfraw/ Dehnen und Vindallein Gott eine fróliche / aufferstehung am Jungsten tage uor (…) leihe”. Notę Nauck’s coat of arms below the inscription.

The epitaph is attributed to the outstanding Dutch painter Tobias Fendt (c. 1520 /1530-1576). He was a painter and illus-trator. He was educated in art studio in Liege, from which came such artists as Frans Floris. He started to work in Wrocław in 1565. In turn, in 1571, he became the senior of painters’ guild.

In the erypt of the chapel are buried Jesuits who died in Świdnica, including sculptor Johann Riedel.