The Image of Queen Bona in Polish Drama

The article presents a literary image of queen Bona appearing in Polish 19th and 20th century drama, and makes an attempt at explaining the reasons for painting such an image. The events of the majority of plays discussed in this text (written in the 19th century and the early 20th century) was inspired by the stormy marriage between Sigismund Augustus and Barbara Radziwiłł, whereas Bona, a character depicted in dark colours, was opposed to excessively idealised Barbara. The queen from the Sforza family was shown as a woman blinded by hatred and thirsty for power, cunning and unscrupulous plotter, pitiless poisoner, foreigner acting against the Polish interests and implementing the controversial teachings of her countryman, Machiavelli. The negative and historically false image became blurred with the passing years to change radically as a result of a more critical attitude to Barbara, visible in the literary works written after the Second World War. From a bad monarch wishing Poland ill, Bona turned to be a wise ruler and far-sighted politician, defending the interest of her second homeland. The article discusses separately radically different images of queen Bona outlined in two dramas set in Bari and not inspired by Sigismund Augustus’s marriage. Additionally, the stage history of one of them is presented.

A Forgotten Film about Barbara Radziwiłłówna

The article focuses on the first Polish film in which the figure of Bona Sforza appeared, namely Barbara Radziwiłłówna, created by Józef Lejtes, a well-known director, in 1936. Moreover, it discusses the circumstances in which the film was made, and the image of the queen presented therein. Numerous comments which appeared in the press, both contemporary and of a later period, have been recalled.

Bona Sforza – between Poland, Naples, and Bari. The Rivalry of the Great European Powers in the 16th Century

In this article, the history of Bona Sforza is examined in the context of the relations between the European states of the first half of the 16th century, that is, the Empire of Charles V and the Catholic Monarchy and of Philip II in particular. The Queen of Poland and Duchess of Bari attempted to play a leading role in the international relations of the epoch, but she had to succumb to the wishes of the two Habsburgs, interested in regaining control over the Duchy of Bari and forming anti-Turkish alliances with Sigismondo II of Poland, a son of Bona.

Bona Sforza d’Aragon and the Role of Fashion in Creating Her Image

The main goal of the article is to examine how queen Bona Sforza’s taste and interest in fashion has been influenced by her nearest milieu – including her mother, Isabella of Aragon – since her childhood in Italy and until her arrival in Poland. In the first part of the text, the author seeks to obtain an answer to the question of how the Renaissance fashion could influence Bona’s look and garments. The author proposes her own translations of several sources which shed new light on the subject. The description of wedding celebrations written by Giuliano Passero, Giuliano Passero cittadino napoletano o sia prima pubblicazione in istampa, delle Storie in forma di Giornali (Napoli, 1785) is especially important for this article. The new translation of this text differs occasionally from that published by Władysław Pociecha several years ago. In the second part of this article, the author analyses ceremonial dress and jewellery which we can see on the earliest preserved portrait of Bona, painted most likely in Italy, around 1518. The woodcut, included in Jost Ludwik Decjusz’s De Sigismundi regis temporibus liber III in 1521, could not precisely depict the facial features and details of the young queen’s apparel.

The Portrait of Jan Grotkowski in the Poems of Jan Andrzej Morsztyn and the Question of the “Neapolitan Sums”

The author of the article draws a literary portrait of Jan Grotkowski (a forgotten poet of the Baroque period) based on four poetic works by Jan Andrzej Morsztyn. Consequently, an interesting figure of a writer, diplomat, and influential participant in international politics emerges from the darkness of oblivion. He is connected with the figure of Queen Bona only by a mysterious death. Thus, he is included in the list of people who, as Kantecki claims, “fell victims to the matter haunted somewhat by the curse of Queen Bona”. Trying to solve the issue of “Neapolitan sums,” Grotkowski, like Reszka, Mąkowski and others, died in unexplained circumstances.