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The Bernardine friar Michał Ławrynowicz setting off to collect alms

Authors: Victor Adam (1801–1866)
Eugène Cicéri (1813–1890)
Created:1851
Material:paper
Technique:chromolithograph
Dimensions:40 × 56.80 cm

After Antoni Zaleski (18241885).

Jan Kazimierz Wilczyński, ‘Album of Vilnius’, illustration to ‘Memoirs of an Alms Collector’ by Ignacy Chodźko.

The scene The Bernardine friar Michał Ławrynowicz setting off to collect alms was based on the book ‘Memoirs of an Alms Collector’ by Ignacy Chodźko, published in Vilnius in 1843, which was reprinted several times. It is the third and the most popular book in the series called ‘Images of Lithuania’ (Obrazy Litewskie), written in the style of a diary. The main character in the book is a Bernardine friar called Michał Ławrynowicz who was attached to monasteries in Nesvizh, Benitsa and Vilnius and lived off alms. When the writer describes his travels around the surrounding estates and villages, and his visits to various people, he creates a colourful gallery of late 18th and early 19th-century character types in Lithuania. The very figure of an itinerant Bernardine friar was popular at the time, as he spread political and other news and provided all kinds of mediation. This composition, showing the friar getting ready to go and collect alms, was drawn by the amateur artist Antoni Zaleski (18241885), and lithographed by the French artists Jean Victor Adam (1801–1866) and Eugène Cicéri (1813–1890). The illustration conveys skilfully the narrative and the rather anecdotal literary style of the book, and presents the protagonists. Mir Castle near Nesvizh stands in the background. The colour lithograph was published in Jan Kazimierz Wilczyński’s ‘The Album of Vilnius’ (series 2, notebook 4, No 45).

Text author Rūta Janonienė

Source: Valiunas Ellex (LAWIN until 2015) art album: RES PUBLICA (2018). Compiler and author Rūta Janonienė