Prakalbinti aplinką: XVII a. - XVIII a. pabaigos vaikų portretų atributika

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Prakalbinti aplinką: XVII a. - XVIII a. pabaigos vaikų portretų atributika
Alternative Title:
Let the environment speak: attributes in children's portraiture of the seventeenth - late eighteenth century
In the Journal:
Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis [AAAV]. 2023, t. 110/111, p. 363-397. Vaizdas ir daiktas: ištakos, funkcijos, pėdsakai = Image and thing: origins, functions, traces
Ikonografija / Iconography; Vaikai / Children; Tapyba / Painting.
Summary / Abstract:

LTSenuosiuose atvaizduose žmones supantys atributai – vienas reikšmingiausių istorinio portreto simbolinių ir prasminių elementų. Atributai apibrėždavo ne tik konkretaus portretuojamojo charakterį, socialinę padėtį, bet drauge savitai įamžindavo ir išorinę, aplinkos nulemtą jo asmenybės reprezentaciją. Bene ryškiausiai šis aspektas skleidžiasi vaikų portretistikoje, kurios kūrybos iniciatoriais ir formuotojais dažniausiai tapdavo jų artimieji. Straipsnio objektas – šešių Lietuvos muziejų kolekcijose saugomų vietinių ir užsienio autorių nutapytų XVII a. – XVIII a. pabaigos vaikų atvaizdų ikonografija ir atributinė simbolika. Remiantis šiais pavyzdžiais tekste siekiama nors ir fragmentiškuose, tačiau dėl to tik dar labiau intriguojančiuose lietuviškosios vaikų portertistikos kloduose ieškoti kaip tik atributuose neretai užkoduotų mažamečių ugdymo ir anuometės vaikystės sampratos refleksijų. Reikšminiai žodžiai: vaikų portretistika, portretiniai atributai, Lietuvos nacionalinis dailės muziejus, Žemaičių muziejus „Alka“, Nacionalinis M. K. Čiurlionio dailės muziejus, Lietuvos nacionalinis muziejus. [Iš leidinio]

ENIt is difficult to imagine early secular portraits without one of their key constituent elements – attributes. Objects, animals, wardrobe elements, and other details that were depicted in representational and intimate compositions had to express as accurately as possible the social status, hobbies, or even character traits of the portrayed person, thus testifying to how that person sought to present themselves, and at the same time to record how others wished to see them. The latter circumstance is particularly evident in children’s portraits. For many centuries, children’s portraits, commissioned by their parents, guardians or other relatives, and usually modelled after adult portraits, primarily performed the functions of consolidating the family status and embodying the expectations placed on the offspring. Today, attributes seen in portraits can help us to trace these expectations. The subject of the article is six characteristic portraits of children from the seventeenth to the late eighteenth centuries by local and international artists held in the collections of Lithuanian museums. Examining their iconography and, above all, their attributive symbolism, the author of the article seeks to verbalise the gradually changing image of interpretation and representation of childhood captured in these paintings. Both in the magnificent seventeenth-century portrait "A Girl with an Orange Tree Branch" held in the collection of the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, and in the intriguing eighteenth-century portrait "A Boy with a Rose" from the middle or the second half of the eighteenth century belonging to the Samogitian Museum “Alka,” the image of stern and not particularly childish “little adults” embodying the family’s social status, expectations, and goals is created by means of respective gender-based attributes and in the tradition of representational baroque images.Another portrait "A Boy and a Dog" held in the collection of the "Alka" Museum radiates a much happier and more carefree mood. Research helped to specify the dating of the work and the identity of the portrayed – this late eighteenth-century work, which most likely depicts one of the sons of the owner of the Tirkšliai manor, Feliks (vel Felix) Skarbek-Ważyński (1736–1813), already manifests a great sense for the freedom, energy, and joys of childhood, which was asserted in the works by Enlightenment theorists. Yet, certain details of the child’s outfit and the composition of the work itself still resemble traditional representational portraits of children, thus making A Boy and a Dog an intermediary piece that marks the transition from the old traditions of children’s portraits to a more organic iconography of childhood. Several portraits of children created in the spirit of Neo-Classicism and early Romanticism, held in the memory institutions of Lithuania, evidence somewhat different stylistic and representational approaches. For example, the protagonist of the painting Unknown Boy in the collection of the National Museum of Lithuania, dated to the last quarter of the eighteenth century, although restrained, seems somewhat freer and less stiff thanks to certain details (a ruffled wig, a daring look, a firm stance). This effect is further enhanced by the abstract, light background of the painting, which creates the impression of cleanliness and order, and at the same time, symbolically implies a “clean slate” or a child’s new life. In his left hand the boy holds a plain parchment with sensitive and almost philosophical wishes of the child’s parents to their offspring written in French, which replaces the common attribute – a weapon – and becomes an eloquent witness of family relations at that time.An even more minimalistic approach was chosen by the artist and the clients of the Portrait of a Boy from 1798, held in the collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art – in this small-size image, which is nevertheless charged with extraordinary warmth and energy, a self-confident boy is painted without any attributes. The focus of the picture is the unique character of the child, typically emphasised in the Enlightenment era, a personality that does not need any additional elements for its description. Of course, this trend of children’s images was influenced not only by stylistic and social changes, but also by their intimate function. It was often unnecessary to overload the portraits meant for the decoration of court spaces with additional elements indicating the status or future aspirations of their characters that were easily recognisable by their relatives. However, late eighteenth-century intimate images were not always devoid of attributes. A characteristic example is a small painting Children from the collection of the “Alka” Museum, depicting two unidentified children. At first sight, this work also seems to visualise the child-rearing ideas proposed by Enlightenment thinkers to society of that time, including outdoor games which are beneficial for endurance and health, comfortable clothes that do not restrict movement, and relying on the child’s natural innocence and curiosity. [...] Keywords: children’s portraits, portrait attributes, Lithuanian National Museum of Art, Samogitian Museum “Alka”, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, National Museum of Lithuania. [From the publication]

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2023-12-05 22:07:20
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