Kazimierz Alchimowicz
Gedymin’s Funeral, 1888
Gift of the artist, 1897

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 220 × 350 cm

description: Kazimierz Alchimowicz was born in Lithuania. He devoted most of his works to the history, legends and nature of this country. The creation of Lithuanian heroes and the popularization of the local mythology contributed to the broadening of knowledge about the historical, language, social and ethnic identity of the Lithuanians nation, existing from the Middle Ages and developing especially in the 19th century, at a time of an increasing sense of national identity in European countries. Gedymin’s Funeral reflects such aspirations. It depicts a procession of Lithuanians and Teutonic captives to Vilnius to bury the duke killed while capturing the Teutonic stronghold Bejer. The figure of Gedymin, highlighted with yellow accents in his clothes, emerges from the darkness of the forest. The scene is set against a background of Lithuanian wild, extensive and eternal nature. After the death of the leader, Lithuania will be divided between his sons, and it will forever lose its position of a leading country in the eastern frontiers of Europe. Hence, it is understandable that the participants in the funeral, led by a wajdelota (a bard and prophet), are stricken with such deep and inconsolable grief. Thanks to his song, “great Gedymin” will be remembered by future generations. Barbara Ciciora

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Around the academy >>>

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