Lithuanian Art and Applied Art

It is known that first art creations appeared approximately 40.000 years BC.  First manifestations of art took place in Spain, Old Egypt, Old Greece. Painting, sculpture, applied arts flourished there as well as the profession of artist was really reputable. No one says it is not reputable nowadays, however, usually it is pretty hard nowadays to make one`s pale from only painting for example. In addition, the real professionalism is only accepted when the art works get an extremely favorable response from art critics and the consumer society.

The applied art nowadays is more for displaying rather than for using in daily life. The further technologies go, the less practical features society see in creations of applied art. Only for decorations, creation of visual beauty or symbols this art branch is necessary nowadays. In Lithuania the most popular techniques of the applied art are ceramics, textile and glass. First professional specialists of applied art in Lithuania appeared in the 20th century when in 1931 in Kaunas there a study of ceramic was established. Lithuanians then, however, refused to understand the foreign art elements so the creators recoiled upon elements of Lithuanian folk and ethnography. Later the understanding of beauty changed, the soviet press forced artists to create only in ideological socialistic realism style. Luckily, the Lithuanian moderation helped the artist to learn how to use the Lithuanian heritage while understanding that present is just a development.

In Lithuania there used to and still is living and creating a pretty large number of an outstanding artists. The most famous Lithuanian classicism painter was Pranciškus Smuglevičius (1745-1807). As usually during the 18-19th centuries, the painter used to paint canvas of religious, historic themes. In paintings he also eternalized architectural monuments in Vilnius, the most important events in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania also scenes of simple daily life. The famous painter formed as one of the first  creators of classicism style in Europe in the 18th century. Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911) was the versatile art genius , both painter, composer and culture figure. Approximately 500 his paintings distinguished in new forms and new coloring. His art works got great attention by local and foreign societies, symbolism and  space painting astonished everyone. His most famous works are the 4 painting sonatas “Allegro”, “Andante”, “Scherzo” and “Finale”. Antanas Žmuidzinavičius (1876-1966), Lithuanian painter, collector and public figure mostly created fascinating landscapes, portraits, banners, formatted books. The famous Devil`s museum in Kaunas was established not without his help. Large part of the exhibition visitors see nowadays was collected by this famous artist. Because of strong efforts by these artists of the 20th century first art exposition was opened in Lithuania in 1906. In 1907 the association of artists was established which as the cultural public organization implementing purposes of inspiring and developing cultural life in Lithuania. One of the most famous Lithuanian artists of the 20th century is Vytautas Kasiulis (1918 - 1995) whose paintings are well appreciable in the whole Western World. The talented artists mostly created in Paris. His works were 2 times elected to decorate the "Times" journal cover.

The visual art is conditioned by attitude and truth that lies inside the artist. Nevertheless,  watching and comparing the variety of art works  reveals the real particularity of Lithuanian spirit.