The Many Faces of Maria Lupu-Radziwill

Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis


  • Rita Lelekauskaitė Lietuvos Didžiosios Kunigaikštystės valdovų rūmai, Vilnius, Lithuania


Maria Lupu-Radziwill, portrait, Radziwill


The paper analyses the portraits of Maria Lupu (c. 1625–1660), daughter of the ruler of Moldova Duchy and the second wife of Janušas Radvila (1612–1655), made specifically during the period between mid 17th century and mid 19th century. The paper takes into account only the portraits and their later copies depicting Lupu in her mature age, and is dedicated to the question of false attribution. The research attempts to clarify their dating and the conditions of their creation. Only a few portraits that were made during her lifetime survived to this day: the National Muse- um of the Republic of Belarus has a painting by Johan Schretter that depicts both wives of Radvila—Lupu and Kotryna Potockytė; the portrait of a lady which was recently identified as Lupu, stored in Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark; and a possible copy of the latter portrait reproduced in the publication Theatrum Europaeum (1652). Warsaw National Museum also has a portrait from the series of “Laureal Leaves” which is possibly modelled after the painting held in Rosenberg Castle. The only references to the vanished group portrait of Radvila with his two wives are the drawing by Ferdinandas Friderikas Vilhelmas Radvila (1834–1926) and the watercolours created by Karolis Račinskis (1799–1860) in the first half of the 18th century (the latter depict the figures separately). As many as three portraits of Lupu were misidentified and turned into symbolic masks for other people. First, it is the Rosenborg Castle portrait which was once thought to depict M. Stricka. The second one is a portrait held in a private collection—painted on a wooden plinth, it dates back to the 18th century and is once thought to depict Barbora Radvilaitė. This portrait is likely to be created as a copy of the reproduction printed in Theatrum Europaeum.

The third case belongs to one of the two portraits that depicts the duchess in the Radvila family album Familiae Ducalis Radivillianae—it has a signature that falsely identifies it with Kotryna Tomicka. The image has been created according to the portrait painted by Johan Schretter who portrayed Lupu alongside Radvila’s first wife Kotryna Potockytė. The analysis showed that the false attribution of these portraits could have occurred due to the misinterpretation of the attributes of status and lineage.



How to Cite

Lelekauskaitė, R. (2019). The Many Faces of Maria Lupu-Radziwill: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (96), 106–140. Retrieved from