Thurzo, Stanislav

(c. 1470—1540)

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(b ?Kraków, c. 1470; d Olomouc, 17 April 1540). Polish churchman and patron, active in Moravia. He was descended from a Hungarian family that had settled at Levoča, Slovakia, and then moved to Kraków. He studied at the university of Kraków and possibly also at Padua. In 1497 he was appointed bishop of Olomouc in Moravia, from where he maintained contacts with the royal courts in Prague, Hungary and Poland and with humanists in Buda and Kraków, as well as with Erasmus of Rotterdam. His residence at Kroměříž, near Olomouc, was built c. 1500–10 on a regular four-wing plan with Italianate corner turrets. He constructed the episcopal palace at Olomouc and extended the defences of the fortified castle (after 1511) at Hukvaldy; these buildings incorporate Renaissance elements, probably executed by an Italian mason. For the reconstruction of the presbytery of the church of St Maurice at Kroměříž and for the construction of its naves (c. 1508–16), however, he chose historicizing Gothic forms. About 1505 he donated a monumental statue of St Wenceslas for the façade of Olomouc Cathedral; in the adjacent cloister several artists painted a Life of Christ cycle (c. 1510), and in 1515 he added a new presbytery to the cathedral. Among works commissioned by the Bishop were panel paintings by Lucas Cranach I of the Beheading of St John the Baptist and the Martyrdom of St Catherine and altar wings depicting SS Catherine and Barbara (1515–18; all Kroměříž Castle). Among books printed under his patronage, the most notable are a psalter (1498) and the Psalterium olomucense (1499), finished in Brno and dedicated to him.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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