Lithuania Arts and Architecture

Lithuania State of Northern Europe, overlooking the Baltic Sea for a short distance (where the port of Klaipėda is). It borders on the N with Latvia, on the E with Belarus, on the S with Russia (Kaliningrad oblast ′) and Poland. Before 1918 it was part of Russia, of which it constituted the governorate of Kaunas and part of those of Vilnius and Suvalki.


Between the 12th and 13th centuries. the pagan Lithuania was influenced by the Russo-Byzantine culture. Polygonal castles-fortresses were built from the 13th century. (without towers) to the 14th -15th (with two or more towers) as a defense against the Crusaders and the barbarians. With Catholicism, Gothic ways were then introduced in the construction of churches which also maintained local characteristics (St. Anna in Vilnius, church in “Lithuanian Gothic”, 16th century). Gothic elements are also found in private and public buildings from the 15th-16th centuries. Architecture, miniature and engraving in the 16th century. they were strongly influenced by the Italian, German and Dutch Renaissance. Among the various Baroque constructions, the church of the monastery of Pažáislis (near Kaunas) stands out, built by the Italians Lithuania Fredo and P. Puttini at the beginning of the 18th century, with frescoes by the Italian Del Bene, the first pictorial examples of some importance (the frescoes that adorned the Orthodox churches have all been lost). Neoclassical architecture (JB Knackfuss, Lithuania Stuoka Gucevičius) dominated until the first quarter of the 19th century. Neoclassical painting and sculpture had their center in the Vilnius Art School with the sculptor K. Jelskis and the painter P. Smuglevičius. For Lithuania 2013, please check

In the second half of the 19th century, alongside architectural eclecticism, painting and sculpture took place in a romantic and realistic sense. From 1907 national art exhibitions were organized by the Lithuanian Art Association (significant painter was MK Čiurlionis). After the First World War, architectural constructivism had valid representatives in V. Dubeneckis and V. Žemkalnis-Landsbergis, while painting continued to follow the realistic direction (Kaunas artistic school, with J. Vienožinskis). The remarkable development of popular art should also be remembered: very particular wooden crosses, votive chapels, fabrics, embroidery.

After the Second World War an intense urban-architectural activity was applied in new regulatory plans (Vilnius: arch. V. Mikučianis and K. Bučas; Klaipėda: arch. VS Revzin), in new industrial districts, with intensive dwelling houses, built with extensive use of prefabricated elements. Lithuanian architecture of the 20th-21st century. is characterized by the activity of studios such as Paleko ARCH Studio or Vilnius Architectural Studio. Since the 1950s, many Lithuanian artists had moved to the United States and Europe; in the 1960s and 1970s, artists trained abroad emerged, such as the painter K. Zapkus or the sculptor A. Brazdys, abstractionists. In connection with Western experiences, the painters A. Savickas and V. Kisarauskas and the sculptors TK Valaitis and V. Vildžiunas refer to the cultural heritage of the country; in the context of abstract art, K. Zimblytė, symbolist suggestions inform the painting of Lithuania Katinas. In the 1980s we witness a development of sculpture (G. Karalius, S. Kuzma, P. Mazuras, M. Navakas, V. Urbanavičius, K. Jaroševaitė). In the 1990s the younger generations of artists favored different forms of expression, such as object art, installations, videos,performances and actions (Green Leaf groups; Post-Ars, made up of artists such as the sculptor R. Antinis and the painter A. Andriuškevičius; Z. Kempinas; D. Liškevičius). We still remember M. Navakas (sculptures with a conceptual matrix and monumental object-sculptures in public spaces); E. Rakauskaite (video installations with an interest in contemporary female art); D. Narkevičius (films and videos on historical-political themes).

Lithuania Arts

About the author