Thursday Lunches

Last updated
Neoclassical Water Palace in the Royal Baths Park where the Lunches were held in summer Warszawa lazienki park.jpg
Neoclassical Water Palace in the Royal Baths Park where the Lunches were held in summer
The chamber where the dignitaries would dine and meet with the King 2 Zamek Krolewski 54.jpg
The chamber where the dignitaries would dine and meet with the King

Thursday Lunches (Polish : obiady czwartkowe) were gatherings of artists, intellectuals, architects, politicians and statesmen held by the King of Poland, Stanisław II August during the Enlightenment in Poland.

Contents

History

Stanisław II August, affectionately known as, King Stan (Polish : Król Staś), was a patron of the arts and learning. [1] It was during his reign that Poland's Age of Enlightenment begun in the 1730s–40s, reached its peak. It went into decline with the Third Partition of Poland in 1795. During the Age of Enlightenment, Warsaw was modernised and became a favourite meeting place for notable people in the world of art, architecture and literature along with other intellectuals and statesmen. The King invited influential figures of the time to his Thursday Lunches. He founded the School of Chivalry. At that time Warsaw had replaced Kraków as the capital of Poland. [2]

The lunches were usually held in the Royal Castle and in summer in the Water Palace in Warsaw, between 1770 and 1784. During the gatherings, which typically lasted three hours and were akin to French salons, the King and his guests discussed literature, art and politics over a light meal. The number of guests varied over the years, with about thirty regulars, including politicians, writers, bibliophiles, military officers of rank and philosophers. Guests of note included:

The king also held less well-known Wednesday Lunches, Obiady Środowe. While the guests at the Thursday Lunches were usually writers, poets and artists, the Wednesday Lunches brought together educators, scientists and political activists.

The Thursday Lunches spawned the first Polish literary magazine, Zabawy Przyjemne i Pożyteczne - "Diversions Pleasurable and Useful", published from 1770 to 1777.

In the 1990s, Warsaw Mayor Paweł Piskorski picked up on the tradition by holding Tuesday Breakfasts to talk over current issues with leading businessmen and activists.

Cuisine

The importance of the lunches was not the food, but the conversation, and not many menus were recorded for posterity.

See also

Related Research Articles

Ignacy Krasicki Polish writer and poet, Catholic bishop

Ignacy Błażej Franciszek Krasicki, from 1766 Prince-Bishop of Warmia and from 1795 Archbishop of Gniezno, was Poland's leading Enlightenment poet, a critic of the clergy, Poland's La Fontaine, author of the first Polish novel, playwright, journalist, encyclopedist, and translator from French and Greek.

Stanisław August Poniatowski last King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania

Stanisław II Augustus, who reigned as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1764 to 1795, was the last monarch of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. He remains a controversial figure in Polish history. Recognized as a great patron of the arts and sciences and an initiator and firm supporter of progressive reforms, he is also remembered as the King of the Commonwealth whose election was marred by Russian intervention. He is criticized primarily for his failure to stand against the partitions, and thus to prevent the destruction of the Polish state.

Ignacy Potocki Nobleman and writer

Count Roman Ignacy Potocki, generally known as Ignacy Potocki, was a Polish nobleman, member of the influential magnate Potocki family, owner of Klementowice and Olesin, a politician, writer, and office holder. He was the Marshal of the Permanent Council in 1778–1782, Grand Clerk of Lithuania from 1773, Court Marshal of Lithuania from 1783, Grand Marshal of Lithuania from 16 April 1791 to 1794.

Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski Polish noble

Prince Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski was an influential Polish aristocrat, writer, literary and theater critic, linguist, traveller and statesman. He was a great patron of arts and a candidate for the Polish crown. He was educated in England and after his return to Poland in 1758, he became a member of the Sejm (parliament), Crown General of Podolia and Marshal of General Confederation of Kingdom of Poland.

Great Sejm 18th-century Polish parliament

The Great Sejm, also known as the Four-Year Sejm was a Sejm (parliament) of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that was held in Warsaw between 1788 and 1792. Its principal aim became to restore sovereignty to, and reform, the Commonwealth politically and economically.

Targowica Confederation Confederation of Polish and Lithuanian magnates

The Targowica Confederation was a confederation established by Polish and Lithuanian magnates on 27 April 1792, in Saint Petersburg, with the backing of the Russian Empress Catherine II. The confederation opposed the Constitution of 3 May 1791, which had been adopted by the Great Sejm, especially the provisions limiting the privileges of the nobility. The text of the founding act of the confederation was drafted by the Russian general Vasili Stepanovich Popov, Chief of Staff of Prince Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin. Its purpose was proclaimed in the small town of Targowica and the Potocki's estate on May 14, 1792. Four days later two Russian armies invaded the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth without a formal declaration of war.

Commission of National Education

The Commission of National Education was the central educational authority in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, created by the Sejm and the King Stanisław II August on October 14, 1773. Because of its vast authority and autonomy, it is considered the first Ministry of Education in European history and an important achievement of the Polish Enlightenment.

Scipione Piattoli Italian Catholic priest

Scipione Piattoli was an Italian Catholic priest—a Piarist—an educator, writer, and political activist, and a major figure of the Enlightenment in Poland. After ten years as a professor at the University of Modena in Italy, he emigrated to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, where he became associated with several magnate families—the Potockis, Lubomirskis, and Czartoryskis. He was a member of Duchess Dorothea von Medem's court in Courland (Lithuania) and of King Stanisław August Poniatowski's court.

Patriotic Party

The Patriotic Party, also known as the Patriot Party or, in English, as the Reform Party, was a political movement in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the period of the Four-Year Sejm of 1788–92, whose chief achievement was the Constitution of 3 May 1791. The reformers aimed to strengthen the ailing political machinery of the Commonwealth, to bolster its military, and to reduce foreign political influence, particularly that of the Russian Empire. It has been called the first Polish political party, though it had no formal organizational structure. The Party was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, and its name, proudly used by themselves, was a tribute to the Dutch Patriots.

Romanticism in Poland

Romanticism in Poland, a literary, artistic and intellectual period in the evolution of Polish culture, began around 1820, coinciding with the publication of Adam Mickiewicz's first poems in 1822. It ended with the suppression of the January 1863 Uprising against the Russian Empire in 1864. The latter event ushered in a new era in Polish culture known as Positivism.

Enlightenment in Poland

The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment in Poland were developed later than in Western Europe, as the Polish bourgeoisie was weaker, and szlachta (nobility) culture (Sarmatism) together with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth political system were in deep crisis. The period of Polish Enlightenment began in the 1730s–40s, peaked in the reign of Poland's last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski, went into decline with the Third Partition of Poland (1795) – a national tragedy inspiring a short period of sentimental writing – and ended in 1822, replaced by Romanticism.

The history of philosophy in Poland parallels the evolution of philosophy in Europe in general.

Warsaw Society of Friends of Learning organization

The Warsaw Society of Friends of Science was one of the earliest Polish scientific societies, active in Warsaw from 1800 to 1832.

Lithuanian Provisional Governing Commission

The Provisional Government Commission of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; also, the Lithuanian Provisional Governing Commission was a provisional administrative body for the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which had been overtaken by Napoleon's Grand Army during the 1812 French invasion of Russia.

History of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1764–1795)

The History of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1764–1795) is concerned with the final decades of existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The period, during which the declining state pursued wide-ranging reforms and was subjected to three partitions by the neighboring powers, coincides with the election and reign of the federation's last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski.

<i>Constitution of May 3, 1791</i> (painting) painting by Jan Matejko

The Constitution of May 3, 1791 is an 1891 Romantic oil painting on canvas by the Polish artist Jan Matejko. It is a large piece, and one of Matejko's best known. It memorializes the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, a milestone in the history of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the high point of the Polish Enlightenment.

Friends of the Constitution

Zgromadzenie Przyjaciół Konstytucji Rządowej was the first modern Polish political party, formed in May 1791, shortly after the adoption of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, by the efforts of the Patriotic Party. The purpose of the Friends of the Constitution was to defend the reformed political system and to introduce further reforms.

Ignacy Tański Polish writer

Ignacy Tański was a Polish official, playwright, poet, translator and freemason.

Ludwik Marteau

Ludwik Marteau, originally Louis-François Marteau was a Polish court painter who served under kings Augustus III and Stanisław August Poniatowski. All of his known works are portraits; both full size and miniatures.

References

  1. Meer van der, Jan IJ. Literary Activities and Attitudes in the Stanislavian Age in Poland (1764-1795): A Social System?. ISBN   90-420-0933-0
  2. Butterwick, Richard. Poland's Last King and English Culture: Stanisław August Poniatowski, 1732-1798. ISBN   0-19-820701-8