Skarga's Sermon was Matejko's first historical crowd composition.
He drew his inspiration from Piotr Skarga's Seym Sermons, a volume of never delivered sermons in which the author
condemned the licence of the gentry and the magnates, which he saw as the gravest danger to Poland. It was a warning that no one
heeded. In the canvas, Piotr Skarga, the preacher of King Sigismund III, depicted by Matejko with his own
features, delivers one of his sermons in the royal cathedral at the Wawel Hill in Cracow.