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Girls in Winter

Jonas MackevičiusAfter 1924

Lithuanian Art Centre TARTLE

Lithuanian Art Centre TARTLE
Vilnius, Lithuania

This picture by Jonas Mackevičius (1872–1954) from his Lithuanian period reminds us very much of works by the war artists Kovalevsky and Vladimir Makovsky, professors at St Petersburg Academy of Art at the time when Mackevičius studied there. The flushed faces of these happy, healthy girls are shown against the background of a vast snow-covered plain, and contrast with their grey rags. The girls are wrapped in huge Russian head kerchiefs, in order to protect them from the cold. Their Russian-style clothing annoyed contemporaries who were looking for a sublimely Lithuanian spirit in art. When a joint exhibition of work by Mackevičius and Juozas Zikaras took place in Kaunas in 1931, Justinas Vienožinskis, the highly respected interwar artist, wrote: ‘In the genre works, [Mackevičius] reminds us of older Russian artists: the same motifs, with girls, buckets, sledges, tins, ragged coats, and bast-shoes [...] The artist should analyse deeper the customs in our villages, the clothing, and the nature of life: then he would surely give us many genre pictures that are pleasant and dear to the heart’ (J. Vienožinskis, ‘Dailininkų J. Mackevičiaus ir J. Zikaro meno darbų paroda’, Naujoji romuva, 1931, no. 10, p. 229). Some modern critics agree, while others see Mackevičius’ picture as a valuable indication of the artistic fashion of the school which formed his oeuvre and which existed in Lithuania in the first half of the 20th century. Text author Giedrė Jankevičiūtė.

Details

  • Title: Girls in Winter
  • Creator: Jonas Mackevičius
  • Date Created: After 1924
  • Physical Dimensions: 119,5cm x 88cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas

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