rss_2.0Art History & Criticism FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Art History & Criticism History & Criticism Feed Art Nouveau Décor and Polychromy in the Interior of the Chaim Frenkel Villa in Šiauliai<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The Frenkel family was famous in Lithuania not only as major manufacturers but also as generous benefactors. They honourably fulfilled the duty of a wealthy Jew to provide charity and social assistance to those most in need. The Frenkel family was forced to leave Lithuania in 1939: during the Soviet and Nazi occupations, the family lost all their possessions. While some family members had Lithuanian citizenship, the property rights of the descendants of Chaim Frenkel (1857–1920) were not reinstated, and from 17 June 1993 the Chaim Frenkel Villa became a department of the Šiauliai “Aušros” Museum (ŠAM, established in 1923). After the building’s renovation (finished in 2008) the villa’s interior spaces reflect minimally survived aesthetics of high class everyday Lithuanian Jewish private life at the beginning of the 20th century. The aim of the article is to argue how the Art Nouveau style in (territory of nowadays) Lithuania was not pure, but intertwined with retro-styles and internationalism. The case of the Ch. Frenkel Villa enriches the history of Lithuanian Art Nouveau with rich combinations of colours, shapes and compositions typical of Lithuanian Jews. Noticeably in the case of the Ch. Frenkel Villa, the traditionalist way of life and the wisdom of Jewish daily life restrained fashionable European design innovations. This is proof that the living environment of Lithuanian Jews was perceived as an important space for spiritual life and the worship of God.</p> <p>Despite searches – fruitless so far – to discover the building’s architect, we can nonetheless recognise the connection of the Ch. Frenkel Villa with the art history of neighbouring Latvia, Riga in particular. It is known that the creator of the villa’s wall painting – famous Latvian painter Voldemārs Zeltiņš (1879–1909) – came to Šiauliai from Riga especially for this work. While the décor of the Ch. Frenkel family house-villa interior may look very magnificent to today’s generation, in comparison with wealthy European factory owners’ homes it was very modest, though yet of very high artistic value, unique and avoiding the repetition of straightforward cheap fashions of interior design.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Cinema in Lithuania: The Emergence of a Cultural Tradition<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>Leaning on the notions of transnationalism of cinema or Cinema of Small States, this article sets out to evaluate early cinema in the Northwestern Krai of the late 1800s–early 1900s Russian Empire and the region’s largest city, Vilnius, thematically, rather than chronologically, through the layers of the formation of film culture and the transformation of cinema into an aesthetic object. Such an approach presents a culturally new possibility of finding commonalities, allowing one to see early cinema in the provinces not necessarily as an always-late phenomenon that highlights the provinciality of the provinces, but on the contrary, as part of the overall European film tradition. This is argued from several aspects. Firstly, by showing how the perception of cinema has changed (and how this change coincided with Western trends) from cinema of attractions to narrative cinema; and secondly, by identifying changes in the repertoire of cinemas and in the established preferences of the early cinema audiences.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Chicago: A Complicated Story of the Search for Lithuanian Identity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The article examines the complicated history of the search for Lithuanian identity in the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Chicago. After leaving their homeland in the aftermath of World War II, the Lithuanian community struggled to maintain its national identity under difficult conditions of emigration. The search for a Lithuanian architectural character became an important part of this political task. Based on a case study, a church near Chicago’s densely populated Marquette Park in Lithuania, the text analyzes the Lithuanian community’s debate about the cultural and political mission of Lithuanian architecture in exile, and the way to express it. Although the concept of the <italic>national style</italic> had already emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century, post-war technological progress and the unfamiliar context of emigration brings additional questions to the subject. The article argues that historical reminiscences in the church are more an ethical than an aesthetic choice. This approach embodies the specific cultural expectations of the community and is, at least partially, in line with the critique of modernism from regionalist point of view.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Drawings of Count Konstanty Tyzenhauz – the Romanticised Testimony of the Time<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The goal of this article is to analyse and evaluate from an art-historical perspective the artistic legacy of Count Konstanty Tyzenhauz (1786–1853) in view of his multifaceted activities and in the context of his time, by applying formal and iconographic methods of art criticism. The Count’s work is a captivating and noteworthy legacy, a testimony to the amateur creativity of aristocracy. Various publications have published or mentioned only single works by Tyzenhauz; no attempt, however, has been made to study them as a whole with regard to the art-historical approach, moreover, some of the works had not yet been published. The analysis revealed that a number of sparsely preserved works, be it drawings or watercolours, are at variance with the stylistic rendering and artistic expression, thus disclosing the Count’s creative experiments and a notable influence of his teachers Orłowski and Norblin. The views representing historical heritage objects (the Koknese, the Vilnius Gediminas, and the Trakai castles) reflect in the main the Romantic tendencies and constitute the group of the most mature Count’s artworks. However, taking account of his unique style and individual manner, images of Rokiškis and the surrounding areas, as well as drawings of birds, stand out for the distinctive interpretation and comprise the most original group. They are romanticised, authentic visual fragments of his time and familiar environment. Art was not the Count’s main and professional endeavour, likewise for a number of noblemen of the epoch, but his artistic inclination let him adapt his talent for scientific purposes. No doubt, Tyzenhauz’s works that feature birds and various architectural objects are of important scientific, historical and iconographic value.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Genius in the Light of the Reception of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Work<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The text analyzes the discourse on modernist genius functioning within the critical reception of the works of an American abstract painter Georgia O’Keeffe in the 1910s and 1920s. The aim is to reflect on how the understanding of O’Keeffe as an atypical artist in the masculinized reality of her time influenced the views on the ideal of genius articulated by art critics during the discussed period. The text also aims to revise some concepts regarding the painter’s presence in the artistic world and the position of her artwork therein.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Prosper Mérimée’s “The Bear” in Different Media and Genres: Correction and Recontextualization<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>Adaptation research demonstrates that the narrative of a particular work may be transferred to different media and/or contexts. In the analysis of such adaptations, it is possible to observe that in the context of both cinema and theatre, the often debated discourses around the connection between literature and and its adaptations in another media, are dialogical and conflicting. Although these discussions still dominate many texts, a considerable number of researchers agree that there are significant connections between adaptations of the same work and the original narrative. For example, Regina Schober describes adaptations as the process of emerging relationships.<sup>1</sup> Such a definition refers both to the relationship between the literary source and its adaptation to another medium, and the relationships between other adaptations created in the same or different media. The definition also encompasses the possibilities of narrative transformation in different cultural contexts. Prosper Mérimée’s work – the short story “The Bear”, in which 19th century Lithuania is reflected by combining fiction and reality – was selected for detailed investigation. The selected adaptations include, on the Lithuanian theatre stage, the opera “The Bear” (2000) created by composer Bronius Kutavičiuss and director Jonas Jurašas, and Łukasz Twarkowski’s “Lokis” (2017), staged at the drama theatre. The opera includes important additions to the short story. The adaptation by Lukasz Twarkowski and playwright Anka Herbut of the stage performance presents the idea of Mérimée’s work in today’s context, combining it with real stories of artists of our time. Two of the listed adaptations of “The Bear”, representing different genres – opera and contemporary drama theatre, as well as the relationship with the original text – became the objects of further research analysis. These case studies explore the use of media tools in the interpretation of the textual narrative, assess each adaptation within the overall field of previously produced adaptations, and seek to decipher the intertexts, and to notice the connections (as well as the differences).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Critique on Authenticity and Integrity in Reconstruction: Perception of Architectural Heritage and Cities of Postwar Era from Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>Interaction with heritage objects, which represent the transition between the past and present, is part of people’s daily lives in historical cities. However, even though heritage is a cultural asset, it is also the outcome of the social and political conditions regarding the selection, protection, and management of heritage objects. After the Second World War, different European countries developed diverse approaches regarding the rebuilding process of their cities, which were heavily destroyed due to air raids. While some followed the strategy of constructing a modern city from scratch, some decided to reconstruct the prior structures before the cities were demolished. Furthermore, there are examples where the authorities have selectively chosen what they wanted to remember and build. When these strategies are analysed in today’s conditions, they raise the question of how these different approaches affected the appreciation of these cities in the contemporary world, concerning their perceived authenticity and integrity, since perception can vary regarding the issues related to heritage objects. In most cases, while experts emphasise the protection of the environment and safeguard the authenticity of the historical objects, for the general public, the visual integrity and the impact of the changes to their daily lives might be more critical, which establishes a difference towards the social value of the authenticity. Therefore, this paper aims to demonstrate the possible diversity of ethical and aesthetic approaches to restoration and reconstruction, from the perspective of authenticity and integrity, by comparing three cities from different parts of Europe with similar demographics. The selected cities in this research are Coventry (United Kingdom), Dresden (Germany), and Gdańsk (Poland), which were all damaged by air raids during the Second World War and implemented different reconstruction approaches to their cities after the war.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Chapel of St. Casimir in Vilnius – A Counter-Reformation Landmark<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The present study takes issue with the accepted view (cf. Vikipedija) that the Chapel of St. Casimir in the Cathedral of Vilnius (1623–1636) resembles the Pauline and the Sistine Chapels in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. A closer look and comparison of the dimensions, geometry, materials, and internal décor, however, reveals significant differences. The defining architectural features of the Chapel of St. Casimir do not derive from these Baroque chapels but from multiple Biblical and Early Christian sources. (This study focused on the Chapel’s interior features that survived the 1655–1661 occupation of Vilnius.) Its cubic core recalls the twenty-cubit amplitude of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The black marble walls (<italic>noir de Namur</italic>) allude to the blackening acacia wood of the Ark of the Covenant holding the Ten Commandment stone tablets that Moses received from the Lord on Mt. Sinai. The ox-blood colored pilasters (<italic>vieux rouge de Rance</italic>) recall the porphyry columns of the Aedicule that sheltered the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem. The Chapel’s reduced Greek cross plan derives from Vitruvius and recalls Early Christian mausoleums. The Ionic column capitals in the Chapel duplicate the ones in the entrance portals of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and in the Confessio above the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle in the Roman necropolis underneath the Basilica. The Council of Trent upheld Early Christian customs, precedents, and traditions. Materializing the Council’s values, the Chapel became a landmark of the Counter-Reformation. The study at hand relied heavily on the indispensable archival documents gleaned by Povilas Reklaitis, Paulius Rabikauskas, SJ, Zenonas Ivinskis, Mintautas Čiurinskas, Birutė Rūta Vitkauskienė, and Piotr Jacek Jamski.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the People of Silla According to the Persian Texts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>Persian and Arabo-Persian texts frequently referred to Silla as a highlighted toponym. Obviously, descriptions used for Silla in Persian texts cannot be comparable with other toponyms. Ajayeb-al-Makhlughat is the name of a manuscript which deals with marvellous lands, islands, seas, animals, birds, people or customs etc. in Persian literature. Qazvini’s versions have no designs/paintings on toponyms. <italic>Haji Mohammad Nasir Khansari</italic> published the lithographical version of the manuscript in Tehran in 1283 Hegira (1904 AD) for the first time. His copyist and graphic designer was <italic>Abas-Ali Tafreshi</italic>. He, in the lithographical version, described the lands and islands of South and Southeast Asia (India to Silla) along with paintings. Most of the people of those islands appeared naked, were uncivilized and had a strange lifestyle. As an exceptional case, Silla is described very positively, civilized, attractive and charming. This paper focuses on the significant difference between Silla and the others, based on the paintings. Nevertheless, this painting is very different from the unpublished painting from <italic>Kush-nama</italic>, the most important book on Iran’s connection with Silla. The first painting of the people of Silla dates back to a unique manuscript of this book copied by <italic>Muhammad ibn Saeed ibn Abdullah</italic>. Herat School of Art, by extending towards Shiraz School, has formed the structure of this unique painting from the eighth century AH. However, the painting of the Kush-nama version is not very far from the time of writing of the original text; but the book Ajayeb-al-Makhlughat (AJ) is dedicated to 865 AH and the painting to 1904 AD. At this time, Western art (Europe) had a great impact on Iran.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrueécor Motifs of the Bronze Chandeliers in Lithuania and Latvia in the 16th to the 18th Century: Typology, Prevalence, Symbolism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The article analyses for the first time the décor motifs of the bronze chandeliers from Lithuania and Latvia in the 16th–18th century. More abundant objects in Latvia are used to reconstruct the lost heritage of chandeliers in Lithuania, and the variety, origin, and symbolism of décor motifs are analysed. The study revealed two groups of décor elements: some of them came from the Gothic and were still used during the Renaissance, while other motifs were started to use altogether with the beginning of the promotion of antiquity culture in the 16th century. The tops of the chandeliers were not decorated with random but rather relevant and important elements of the symbolic meaning of that period. These could be allegorical motifs of décor symbolising fire/Heavenly light, motifs symbolising Divine order on earth or Divine patronage, as well as heraldic décor elements denoting political relationships or friendliness.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Mussolini’s Theatre: Fascist Experiments in Politics and Theatre by Patricia Gaborik Published by Cambridge University Press, 2021, Aura, and Admiration in the Age of Digital Reproduction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>Walter Benjamin famously argued that the mass public of the twentieth century would necessarily correlate with a newly politicized art. But the world has changed considerably since Benjamin’s article was written, as Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer already were assessing less than a decade later. It is the purpose of this article to examine how the aesthetics of the Frankfurt school, though frequently still invoked, have lost some of their immediate relevance. The anti-establishment phase of the 60s, compounded by a pronounced taste for irony, rendered aura and exhibition outmoded values, while on the other hand, more recently, price escalation in the art market and digitization have made certain of the Frankfurt school arguments more pertinent than ever. Taking as examples Goldsworthy and Kentridge, this essay argues that a deliberate loosening of the artist’s control over both medium and reception displaces the warmed-over religious responses endorsed by Benjamin, positing instead increased intellectual agency on the part of viewers, whose identity as a mass public has become newly complicated.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Criticism in Lithuanian Interwar Press: Preconditions of the Phenomenon<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The main goal of the article is to find out whether a specific genre of architectural criticism was formed in the public discourse of interwar Lithuania (1918–1940), and if so, to define the main tendencies of this phenomenon. After defining the critique of architecture as a public discourse in which, based on theoretical knowledge, reflections on the essence of architecture or evaluations of ongoing urban development and buildings are popularly presented, the article discusses such texts in interwar Lithuania. The publication will acquaint readers with the most creative reviewers of architecture and the thematic variety of publications attributed to architectural critics. The article will also reveal personalised, unexpected assessments of buildings that have already become objects of heritage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Jewish Artists in Interwar Lithuania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The main subject of this paper is the Jewish artists of interwar Lithuania and their efforts to unite. It analyses the aspirations of Jewish artists to unite into groups, to represent and present their art, and to maintain their national identity. The article introduces the main organisers, participants, circumstances and goals of the artists’ gatherings. It discusses three cases: the cultural policy pursued by National Jewish Council’s Section of Culture at the institutional level; Jewish artists who gathered on a social basis; and the <italic>Art Gallery</italic> of Neemiya Arbit Blatas as a unique exhibition space in inter-war Lithuania, which mainly exhibited the works of Jewish artists. The paper focuses not on the artistic legacy or its value, but rather on the processes of cultural life of Jewish artists in interwar Lithuania.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Studies in the Context of Power Relations in Lithuania, 1940–1953: The Case of the Activities and Closure of Kaunas Applied and Decorative Art Institute<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The main purpose of this report is to discuss the influence of political power on art studies in Lithuania and the creative work of artists from 1940 to 1953. It will be based on the destruction of the Kaunas Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts, which is little known to art historians. After the Second World War, this institute actually followed the traditions of Kaunas Art School (1922–1940): that was the reason for its closure in 1951. The closure was officially called the reorganisation and continuation of art studies in Vilnius.</p> <p>The post-war ideological content and power of the government acted in the study process. However, in essence, educators were guided by their modernist attitudes and did not accept Soviet directives. The report will try to show how political power has corrected art studies and changed the work of mature artists.</p> <p>This article raises a question about the cost of adaptation and resistance in life and creation. The idea is that the destruction of an art institution is possible, but it is impossible to completely destroy the art school tradition. These and other similar issues will be addressed in the article, based on archival documents and examples of works by several different generations of artists – Vytautas Kairiūkštis (1891–1961), Liudas Truikys (1904–1987), Zenonas Varnauskas (1923–2010).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Drama to Sámi Theatre – Cultural Clashes Towards Decolonisation: In Shared Dialogic Spaces<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>This article deals with the concept of Arctic Drama, which is about how there is a relationship between drama and cultural clashes in the perspective of shared cultures in the northern Scandinavian area, which is defined as arctic in the geographical sense. In this vast area the Sámi people historically and to the present day have been living from reindeer herding in a nomadic lifestyle, giving them a close relationship to nature.</p> <p>Norwegians and Swedes colonised this area historically, especially the coast for fishing.There have been strong cultural clashes since the Viking ages, but colonisation mainly started later by introducing Christianity by force in the 16<sup>th</sup> century. Since the Romantic age, these ethno-cultural clashes have been reflected in drama and theatre, and some plays by Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun echo these tensions. An independent theatre of the Sámi people as well as of other indigenous people in Greenland and Canada, like the Inuits, would also develop some theatrical strategies based in a dramaturgy that could be described as a “spiral dramaturgy”. Cultural independence has contributed to a decolonisation process, contributing to even out the cultural clashes in theatre and drama, which could be defined as postcolonial towards decolonisation. This article focuses on the area of arctic Scandinavia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Search of Missing Collection: The Case of Artist Albert Rappaport<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The artist Albert Rappaport was born in Anykščiai in 1898. In 1911, the family emigrated to New York. Rappaport became an American citizen in 1925 and began to travel widely. He studied fine art in New York, Paris, Dresden and Munich. He visited South America, Africa and traveled extensively through Europe (1925–1927, 1933, 1937–1939), returning to the United States now and again. The artist participated in several dozen exhibitions. He showed his work in Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Havana, New York, Calgary and Montreal, in addition to his solo exhibitions in 1937 in Warsaw and Vilnius, and in Kaunas, Riga and Tallinn in 1938. After Rappaport’s death, in March 17, 1969 in Montreal, his collection of artworks disappeared and has thus far not been found. To date, two of his painted portraits are known to exist – one belongs to the private collection of Jonathan C. Rappaport, another is on display at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Hyperreal Nostalgia: Categorization and Analysis of Visual Vaporwave Artefacts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>Vaporwave grabs the attention of internet voyager with harsh collages glued together in a technically primitive manner. It’s a cultural phenomenon which both originated and is active solely on the internet. In the context of general internet culture Vaporwave is exclusive in its aesthetics due to the domination of violet and pink colors, technically primitive quality of texts, fetishization of 8th and 9th decade mainstream commodities and acute nostalgic undertones. Vaporwave has been mostly explored as a music genre or sociological phenomenon, while its visual aspect has mostly remained unattended. This article seeks to analyze the conceptual aspects embodied within Vaporwave visuals, to briefly compare them with music, and to unpack the mechanism of nostalgia as an affective entry point to the movement. The interpretation is mainly lead by Jean Baudrillard’s theory of hyperreality, and interpretational principles of hermeneutics. Five Tumblr blogs were analyzed. Hermeneutic inquiry into the texts yielded seven distinct symbol categories differentiated by the affect they generate: nostalgic commodities, idyllic classics, melancholic landscapes, harsh distortions, gentle geometry, depressive texts, and ecstatic brands. Each of these categories here are elaborated in detail finally summarizing the multilayered symbolism of the movement. It can be described as nostalgically challenging visual conventions through harsh technical quality and opposing codes of behavior through open expressions of depression and melancholy, thus exposing the doubts of individual imprisoned in postmodern society. ’80s and ’90s here become hyperreal fantasy lands of the past where a nostalgic individual can find refuge. In comparison to music, the visual aspect of Vaporwave highlights the technology as central artefacts of nostalgia, introduces new ways to analyze late capitalist consumer culture, and brings an intimate dialogue with hyperreality to the front. The article suggests that Vaporwave is a post-ironic art movement which both celebrates and criticizes capitalism, finally remaining vague whether there are ways to escape the system, and whether these ways should even be looked for.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Sacral Architecture in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: A Synthesis of Confessional Architecture<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The architectural legacy of the Unitarians in the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania has received little attention from researchers to this day. This article presents an architectural synthesis of the Uniate and Order of Basilians that reflected the old succession of Orthodox architectural heritage, but at the same time was increasingly influenced by the architectural traditions formed in Catholic churches. This article presents the tendencies of the development of Uniate architecture, paying attention to the brick and wooden sacral buildings belonging to the Uniate and Order of Basilians in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The early Uniate sacral examples reflected the still striking features of the synthesis, which were particularly marked in the formation of the Greek cross plan and apses in the different axes of the building. All this marked the architectural influences of Ukraine, Moldova and other areas of Central and South-Eastern Europe, which were also clearly visible in Orthodox architecture. Wooden Uniate architecture, as in the case of masonry buildings, had distinctly inherited features of Orthodox architecture, and in the late period, as early as the 18<sup>th</sup> century, there was a tendency to adopt the principles of Catholic church architecture, which resulted in complete convergence of most Uniate buildings with examples of Catholic church buildings. Vilnius Baroque School, formed in the late Baroque era, formed general tendencies in the construction of Uniate and Catholic sacral buildings, among which the clearer divisions of the larger structural and artistic principles are no longer noticeable in the second half of 18<sup>th</sup> century. The article also presents the image of baroque St. Nicholas Church, the only Uniate parish church in Vilnius city, which was lost after the reconstruction in the second half of the 19<sup>th</sup> century.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Theatrical Activities in Lithuanian Local Periodical Press Under German Occupation 1941–1944<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Summary</title> <p>The article explores the reflection of Lithuanian theatrical activities in the local press during the World War II. As the number of articles shows, theatre was an important part of the dailies’ content. The articles reveal that theatre activities were very important for the expansion of the Nazi culture. One can distinguish three general themes that the articles cover: promotion of Western theatre, especially German, promotion of Lithuanian repertoire and presentation of entertainment theatre. The latter can still be divided into entertainment for German soldiers and administration, and entertainment for Lithuanian audiences. The content of the articles reveals that journalists writing about theatre avoided Nazi propaganda clichés, such as hatred for Bolsheviks and Jews, but these clichés were nevertheless used by the representatives of theatre administrators.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue