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  • 1 Universitas Tyrnaviensis (Trnava University), Lošonec 212, SK 919 04 Smolenice Slovakia
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Summary

In Slovakia the rest of the Pálffy collection is preserved in some institutions (Červený Kameň, Slovak National Museum, Bratislava; Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava; Bojnice Castle). The oldest family collections – also including art relics of the first generation – are guarded in Červený Kameň Castle. The building and art patronage activities of the first generation of founders (1538–1619) Nicolas II. Pálffy and his wife Maria Madeleine Fugger ought to be reconstructed on the basis of archival and literary sources to show their real scale and significance. The first Pálffy portrait gallery was aimed at representing the high rank of the family, and was situated probably both in the long hall and staircase of “piano nobile” in the residence. It seems there were several portraits of Maria Madeleine (as a fiancée and also as a richly dressed countess), surely some portraits of Count Nicolas (known as a significant military hero and several times portrayed for graphical series of “famous men”) and probably some portraits of their children from the age of childhood to their early adulthood. It seems possible that the portrait gallery included wooden tables with icons of former and contemporary rulers and other “famous men”, inserted into the ceiling decoration and preserved until today. The family portrait gallery also consisted of several portraits of Maria Madeleine's relatives, and an archival source mentioned one of them. Preserved portraits of ancestors of Nicolas Pálffy in the portrait gallery are hypothetical. There are only few original portraits and some late portrait copies, but no doubt there were many pictures made by famous artists living in Augsburg and mainly in the Prague court.