Monika Bičiūnienė

Elena Kniukštaitė


Kazimieras Lapinas

Kazimieras Lapinas






Painting is one of Lithuanian folk figurative art branches. Ancient classic folk paintings, as sculptures and graphics, subjects include Christ’s and Virgin Mary’s history of life and sufferings and also Saints. Pictures, painted on boards, tin plates, linen, are found in churches and chapels. Most of them are remains of 19th century, also some remain from 18th century and even earlier times. According to the nature of subject interpretation, paintings originality, folk art legacy, can be seen in two layers, primitive painters that are self taught and art students’ works. As all folk art paintings distinguish themselves by simplicity, logical treatment of subject, harmony of composition, constancy of figurative pictures. To find church art influence in classic folk art paintings one can perceive reverberations of historic art styles, however this does not reduce their value and expression of originality. In the years after the war, in the seventies, began almost non spontaneous painting rise, could not be considered as direct continuum of ancient folk painting, because its influence was naturally suspended. As in classic paintings, it was revealed at once that there are two groups of painters, self taught and art academy students, often members of an art group or studio. Self taught painters’ works generated primitive style paintings, which after being exhibited, immediately received worldwide recognition. The best paintings of the seventies were made known in world encyclopedias of primitive art ( M.Bičiunienė, J.Nalivaikienė, M.Kozmina, M.Juščiunienė, E.Kniuškaitė, B.Zavackis and others ). Many of them began their creative works in mid life or in old age.. Their paintings feature old villages, which were part of their youth, scenes of nature works and holidays. They create a harmonious world, indicating man’s harmony in his relationship with the world. The style of such painters was predestined by their world outlook peculiarities, life experiences, capabilities to convey desired image or idea. This style has grown into folk traditions not only because the largest part of the paintings’ scenes have ethnographic traits ( buildings, people, scenes of village life and holidays ) - in their scenery structure, distinct ethnic culture is reflected in their vivid coloring. Paintings by art academy students will show an original phase between primitive and academic art. It is characteristic that painters take an active part in exhibits and contests. There are several annual and biannual contests in Lithuania. The most distinct is A.Varnas contest, held annually in the city of Joniškės