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Shrine with the Pietà

Author: Jurgis Balsevičius
Created:late 19th century
Material:wood, tinplate
Technique:carving, paint
Dimensions:43 × 30.50 cm

Shrine: 43 × 30.5 × 13, figure H 21.5


Jurgis Balsevičius lived and worked in Vainutas in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. He was a productive carver, whose works spread across Žemaitija. They could be found not only around Vainutas and in neighbouring villages, but in the more distant villages of Šilutė, Šilalė and Tauragė, and even around Plungė, Telšiai and Raseiniai. He liked to use tin in his work. He varied this image of the Pieta with a tin heart and seven rather large swords cut from tin.

Small shrines hanging in trees used to be found all over Lithuania. They were usually rectangular wooden boxes with a gable roof, open at the front, and sometimes glazed. Some of these shrines were decorated with openwork or shaped plates, sculptural decoration, miniature carved or turned architectural details, and paintings. Sometimes the roofs were topped with a small cross of wood or iron. Small shrines in trees with a sculpture of a saint were usually intended for private devotion.

Text author Skaidrė Urbonienė

Source: Law firm Valiunas Ellex art album HEAVEN AND BEYOND (2016). Compiler Dalia Vasiliūnienė. Text authors Dalia Vasiliūnienė, Skaidrė Urbonienė