Let us take a closer look at this engraving. Vilnius is situated on a hill. The Church of St Peter and St Paul displays its splendour on the highest point. The Gates of Dawn appear on the bank of the river. And the Church of St Anne has been moved to the other side of the river. Is this really Vilnius? Why did the artist depict it so erroneously? The artist Leon Kosmulski (1904–1952) graduated from Stephen Báthory University in 1936, and stayed to work as an assistant in the Art Department. After the Second World War he fled to Poland, and lived in Cracow. He produced woodcuts and copper engravings, and a number of works on the theme of Vilnius (the series ‘Churches of Vilnius’ in 1935–1936, and ‘Abandoned Graves’ in 1938). He liked to create imaginary views of the city, in the style of historic prints. For his 1935 woodcut Vilnius he used Gothic stylisation, while in this engraving he used the Baroque style. The city is drawn like the stage of a Baroque theatre. In the foreground, there are figures of people promenading on the river bank, rafts, and a boat floating down the river. In the background, there are tall Baroque-style trees, carefully drawn details, and sinuous shapes. Kosmulski played freely with the layout, and created a fanciful view of a historic city. Text author Laima Laučkaitė.


  • Title: Vilnius
  • Creator: Leon Kosmulski
  • Date Created: 1938
  • Physical Dimensions: 24,5cm x 36cm
  • Type: Graphics
  • Medium: Copper engraving

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