Let’s get to know M.K. Čiurlionis
Varėna – Druskininkai – Kaunas
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis is one of the most unique creators, who has left a bright mark on the culture of both Lithuania and the whole world. In just ten years of his creative career, he has created about four hundred pieces of music. In just six years as a painter, Čiurlionis painted more than three hundred paintings, created graphic works, left works of literature and poetry, appeared in journalism, and experimented in artistic photography. Čiurlionis is a versatile personality, as his notebooks from the studies at the Warsaw Music Institute reveal his interest in geology and history, chemistry and geometry, physics and astronomy, astrology and mythology, ancient and modern languages, classical and new philosophy, Eastern and Western religions. We invite you to get to know this unique artist better through his life and creative path in Lithuania, sometimes simply called the Čiurlionis road.
We will start our acquaintance with M. K. Čiurlionis in Senoji Varėna. At the end of 19 century here M. K. Čiurlionis’ father Konstantinas was an organist and lived with his family in a surviving house next to the church. The eldest son of the organist Mikalojus, the future artist was baptized in the Old Varėna St. In the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. Unfortunately, the old sanctuary did not survive. The current church was built in 1994. It is close to the forms and rhythms of Čiurlionis’ work. The open belfry is reminiscent of Čiurlionis’ painting “Spring Symphony”. In the gallery of paintings located in the basement of the church you can admire the sunlight falling through the stunning stained glass windows of the sanctuary. A memorial sign was unveiled in the churchyard, marking the birthplace of the creator.
We continue to Druskininkai, where the whole Čiurlionis family moved when the little creator was only two years old. During the trip we will see various sculptures decorated with relief ornaments, figurative compositions (motifs of folk songs and fairy tales, stylized signs of the Zodiac, images close to M. K. Čiurlionis’ work), polychrome painting, openwork metal plastic.
In Druskininkai, Čiurlionis’ love for Lithuanian song and the nature of Druskininkai was formed, and his musical talent was also revealed very early on. Here the future artist will return every summer, where his most inspired works of music and paintings will be born. The main Druskininkų street is named after M. K. Čiurlionis. At the beginning of this street, a sculpture “Sagittarius” was erected in 2007 by Vytautas Narutis. One of the most famous places related to Čiurlionis in Druskininkai is the M. K. Čiurlionis Memorial Museum. Let’s stop there for a while.
The whole family of Čiurlionys settled down when it moved from Senoji Varėna. In 1963, this house became the M. K. Čiurlionis Memorial Museum. The spirit of the artist and his family is felt everywhere. The Čiurlionis family harmonica (musical instrument), the piano donated to M. K. Čiurlionis by Mykolas Oginskis, the first author’s paintings, M. K. Čiurlionis’ creative room, the palette of M. K. Čiurlionis and the authentic piano played by the composer during his studies in Warsaw attract the eye. The early works of the artist of the early and late period can also be seen in the museum.
Let’s find out how Villa Linksma, where the Druskininkai City Museum is located, is connected with M. K. Čiurlionis. This place is like a business card of the resort. There is a consistent exposition of the history of the resort, accumulated iconographic and archival material of Druskininkai. There are surviving historical testimonies that M. K. Čiurlionis came to the villa “Linksma” to teach playing the piano his youth friend, the villa’s youngest daughter Gražina Kiersnovskytė. He used to paint nature with another sister Zofija Kiersnovskyte. Intriguing, isn’t it?
Let’s end our walk around Druskininkai at the monument to M. K. Čiurlionis, which was created in 1975, and its author is the sculptor Vladas Vildžiūnas, the winner of the National Culture and Art Prize.
Let’s continue acquaintance with M.K. Čiurlionis in Kaunas. From Druskininkai to the Kaunas railway station in 1908 M. K. Čiurlionis arrived to visit the first Lithuanian art exhibition.
From the Aleksotas observation deck in 1908. M. K. Čiurlionis and Sofija Kymantaitė admired the panorama of the city and the Nemunas.
Let’s go to the place where in 1925 the jubilee exhibition of M. K. Čiurlionis’ works was organized in the gallery that opened its doors. In the same year, the first permanent exposition of M. K. Čiurlionis’ works was opened, it remained in the temporary gallery until 1937.
Would you like know in which safe the paintings of M. K. Čiurlionis were stored? We will see the building of the Bank of Lithuania, where during World War II (from the flood of the Nemunas in 1942 to 1946) some of M. K. Čiurlionis’ paintings were stored in the safe.
Let’s visit one of the oldest and largest art museums in Lithuania (founded in 1921) built and established between the wars – the national M. K. Čiurlionis Art Museum. It is the only place in the world where almost all the creative legacy of the most famous Lithuanian artist, composer, writer and public figure M. K. Čiurlionis is accumulated.