From Nuremberg to Milan. Following the trail of the best weapons of modern Europe

Grafika promocyjna wystawy przedstawiająca zbroje włoską i niemiecką

From Nuremberg to Milan. Following the trail of the best weapons of modern Europe

10 November 2023 – 18 February 2024

Gallery of Masterpieces


War is the mother of invention. The so-called Italian Wars, which tore the Italian peninsula for more than half a century, gave an unprecedented impetus to the development of the arms craft in Italy and Germany. We invite you to an exhibition in which you can take a closer look at the products of Italian and German masters of the 15th, 16th and 17th century armour, rapierry and gunsmithing.

The beginning of the modern era is when the culture of chivalry gave way to the logic of efficiency embodied by the modern conscripted armies. Gradually, not only the equipment, but also the way wars are fought, as well as the ethos, strategic thought or social status of those associated with the war are changing. The knight is replaced by a soldier. The selection of exhibits illustrates this phenomenon and allows us to better understand it.

Watch a blood-curdling duel in the Grand Courtyard of the Royal Castle

On display are protective armament, white weapons, neuroballistic weapons and firearms, as well as their technological secrets - both how they work and the manufacturing process. No less important are the aesthetic qualities of the exhibits, as weapons in past centuries also had a decorative function, often becoming works of art.

Two of the most important exhibits - the armour of Mikołaj Radziwiłł the Red and the armour of Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł the Orphan - were brought from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The salada-type helmet, made in Milan by the Missaglia family of armourers, was loaned from the collection of the Kórnik Library. Some of the exhibits come from the collections of the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the private collections of Prince Maciej Radziwiłł, the Małecki family and the Downar-Dukowicz family.

The exhibition can be seen as part of the Gallery of Masterpieces ticket.

Educational videos accompanying the exhibition: