Vilnius Picture Gallery
Address: Didžioji Str. 4, LT-01128, Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel/fax: 370 (5) 212 08 41; 370 (5) 212 42 58
Vilnius Picture Gallery is situated in the former Chodkeviciai Palace
built in the early 17th century. The Palace has constantly been expanded
and reconstructed. In the 19th century it became a characteristic building
of the late classicism style. At present it is one of the most interesting
ensembles of this style in Vilnius.
Many elements of interior decoration (stoves, wall
sculptures) characteristic of that period have been retained in the
halls of the first floor with the recreated interior of the 19th century
inside. As it was usual for Lithuanian mansions, collections of medals,
portrait miniatures, views of the old Vilnius, portraits of well-known
townsmen (collection of Vilnius Philanthropy Society) are exhibited in
the halls of the gallery.
There are two people in this story who have a certain historical
significance. One is the architect Laurynas Stuoka-Gucevicius
(17531798), who was largely responsible for the spread of classical
architecture in Lithuania in the late 18th century and whose work is
represented by some of his drawings.
The second is the painter Pranciskus Smuglevicius (17451807), also on
exponent of classicism, who became the first professor of painting in
the Vilnius School of Art.
They both worked together on the design and decoration of Vilnius
The classical and the later romantic schools of painting are well
covered, by paintings, which deal with exotic themes and landscapes, as
well as ones, which treat local subjects.
In the middle of the 19th century, due two anti-tsarist political
activity and in particular the uprising of 18301831, Vilnius University,
which included the art school, was closed down. As a result, young
artists who wanted to study had to go abroad, and they returned with
more nature and more subtle ideas. Alfredas Remeris' (18321897)
painting of a girl's hands is a beguiling portrait of female sensuality
that usually causes visitors to linger a while in front of it. Since
1994 the collection has been housed in the Chodkevicius Palace. Built
for one of the city's famous ruling families, most of the present
building dates from the 19th century. Concerts are often held in its
newly restored rooms.