Collected and preserved

Parodos atidarymo akimirkos

Parodos atidarymo akimirkos

Parodos atidarymo akimirkos

Parodos atidarymo akimirkos

The National Museum of Lithuania together with Lithuanian collectors organizes the already traditional series of exhibitions “The Museum and the Collector” from 2012. This exhibition presents the collection of Lithuanian works of art of the collector, lawyer, dr. Jaunius Gumbis.

The larger part of the collection of Lithuanian art consists of objects of folk art – folk sculpture and painting from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. The collection contains works reflecting the sources of folk art in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; there are several paintings by professional artists.

In the sculpture collection the majority of examples of traditional folk sculpture come from the region of Samogitia. They were mainly placed in wayside shrines and pillared shrines. There are some sculptures from churches in the collection.

The authors of the majority of sculptures are unknown. The names of some god carvers could be identified referring to the material held in the museum – Vincas Svirskis, Kazimieras Indriekus, Juozapas Paulauskas, Kazimieras Razma, and Juozapas Stankus.

Plots related to the life of Jesus Christ – The Holy Family, The Baptism of Christ, The Passion of Christ and Pensive Christ – are predominant. The most frequent plot of The Passion of Christ is Crucifixion. The plots of Our Lady of Sorrows, Pieta and Our Lady of Graces clearly show that the Blessed Virgin Mary was the most elevated among the saints in Lithuanian piety. A separate group consists of the sculptures of saints, whom people loved not only as their protectors and intercessors with God, but also as models of behaviour in daily life because of their personal qualities – sense of justice, wisdom and industriousness. Their representation in sculpture was based on church iconography, the established composition of the plot, colours and attributes.

The valuable collection of folk painting consists of works painted in oil or tempera on a wooden board or canvas from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. The majority of paintings are executed in the 18th–19th century Baroque manner – the figures are flattened and represented full face or in profile. The colours are mainly pure, without hues. Combinations of dark colours prevail.

The saints are represented singly and in multi-figure compositions, standing full length; several paintings with half-length figures reflect the relation to portrait painting of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. There are some paintings in which the composition is supplemented with inscriptions, and the authors of quite many works of folk painting are unknown. Altarpieces are larger and have sumptuous authentic frames; some of them are decorated with mountings showing a special respect for the saint. Procession paintings are two-sided. Replicas of the paintings of The Blessed Virgin Mary with the Infant Jesus famous for their miracles – Our Lady of Trakai and Our Lady of Częstochowa – are close to the Byzantine iconographic type of She Who Points the Way (Greek Hodegetria); the painting of Our Lady of Pažaislis is surrounded by a colourful flower garland.

The collection of Lithuanian art by the lawyer, dr. Jaunius Gumbis, is an example how a single person can contribute to the preservation of valuable objects of Lithuanian culture. From now on, this material will be accessible to researchers, folk artists continuing the traditions of cross crafting and folk painting, and everyone interested in the culture of this country. Perhaps this example will encourage someone to start collecting.

September 15, 2016 - January 8, 2017 | The New Arsenal, Arsenalo Str. 1

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