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Trakai Castle

Author: Michał Elwiro Andriolli (1836–1893)
Technique:pencil, ink
Dimensions:10.50 × 16.50 cm

bottom right: Andriolli / Wiatka 14 Maja / 1869 roku

The ruins of Trakai Castle were one of the most popular subjects in Lithuanian landscapes in the 19th century. The ancient walls rising above the lake evoked the glorious past, while the scenic and mysterious surroundings embodied the ideals of Romanticism. There must be very few mid-19th century artists who lived or travelled in Lithuania and could resist the charms of the castle. Michał Elwiro Andriolli (18361893) probably visited Trakai in his youth while travelling around the environs of his native Vilnius. This view by him of the famous castle is different from others, as it was drawn not in Trakai but in exile in faraway Vyatka (18661871). The view of the ancient castle came to the surface of his memory, or it was revived by a sketch in the very depths of Russia (another undated drawing of Trakai Castle by Andriolli is known from a reproduction, and is very similar, except for a boat and reeds in the foreground). It is suffused with a longing for his home country, and full of pride in its history. It is quite likely that the drawing was used as an illustration for a periodical publication. Interestingly, in 1869, Andriolli started collaborating with the Warsaw weekly Tygodnik Illustrowany from Vyatka, to which he sent drawings.

Text author Rūta Janonienė

Source: Law firm Valiunas Ellex art album RES PUBLICA (2018). Compiler and author Rūta Janonienė