THE PRUSSIAN HOMAGE

Jan Matejko

THE PRUSSIAN HOMAGE

On 10 April 1525, an event took place that aroused great emotion among the people of the day: On Kraków’s market square, Albrecht Hohenzollern, the last Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, paid homage to Poland’s King Sigismund I the Old. By this act, the king accepted the existence of a Prussian state, which Albrecht would rule in Sigismund’s name from this point on. This drew vigorous opposition from members of the nobility, including Queen Bona herself, who believed that the Teutonic Knights should disappear from European politics once and for all. The film describes the figures presented by Jan Matejko in his 1882 painting, the causes and consequences of the homage, the scheming and intrigues leading up to it, and the emotions related to this event. The scenes for our Moving Picture were shot in the precise location where the homage was rendered, as shown in Matejko’s painting.

Today the painting is owned by the National Museum in Kraków and is displayed in that institution’s branch in the Cloth Hall – not far from the historical site of the event.