Restitution of Saint Nicholas
The painting is the central representation in the main altar and shows the patron saint of the church, St. Nicholas, kneeling before Christ, who hands him a book, and the Virgin Mary placing a mitre on his head. The painting occupies the height of the second and third tier of the altar measuring 512 x 308 cm.
In the lower right corner of the painting, there is a painted plaque with an inscription done in baroque capital: „S/anctus/ Nicolae ob colaphum heretico impactu/m/ decora alta tiarae dempta Tibi a patribus Maria referet. Anno 1643” (Saint Nicholas, having had the splendid decoration, the old mitre, taken from you by the /ecumenical council’s/ Fathers because of the slapping of a heretic, the Virgin Mary returns it to you. The year 1643).
The inscription refers to a legendary episode in the life of St. Nicholas, who as bishop of ancient Myra attended the first ecumenical council convened by Pope Sylvester I in Nice in 325. For his views expressed at the council, he was deprived of the bishop’s badges – the pallium and mitre.
The painting was painted in 1643. For many years, it was attributed to the Gdańsk painter, Herman Han (1574-1627,1628). Currently, it is attributed to the workshop of August Ranisch.