The Sobieski family
History, Culture and Society. Insights between Rome, Warsaw and Europe.
a pagina 187
In December 1737, Jakub Ludwik – the oldest son of Jan III Sobieski died in Żółkiew. His daughter Maria Karolina the duchess de Bouillon, who was the only surviving heir of the Sobieski family, did not have enough financial resources to organize her father a splendid burial in the collegiate in Żółkiew. Therefore a modest funeral service took place. In 1743, after the death of the duchess, hetman Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł, who considered himself a continuator and heir to the material and cultural legacy of the royal family, arranged a sumptuous obsequies for the prince at the very same church. Archival sources of this ceremony, which has not been revealed until now, prove that the source of inspiration for the church ephemeral decoration, especially for the extended catafalque for Jakub Sobieski, was not castrum doloris erected for the Polish king Augustus II the Strong in the Roman church of S. Clemente in 1733 as it was thought before. Instead, the inspiraton turned out to be the imperial catafalques raised in the first quarter of the eighteenth century, particulary the catafalque erected in the cathedral of Vienna in 1720 for the empress Eleonor Magdalene, the sister-in-law of the prince. Extremely rich in forms of artistic creation and propaganda content, the artistic setting of the Jakub Sobieski's funeral ceremony was not only one of the most magnificent in the eighteenth-century Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth ones, but also one of the most interesting ephemeral funeral decorations in Europe at that time.