Lithuanian National Museum of Art

Inv. No. TM-523

Address: Arsenalo str. 3A, Vilnius

Time of origin: 1800–1825

Place of origin: Lithuania

Material, Technique: copper: beating, repoussé, cutting, embossing; silver plating

Dimensions: height – 80 cm

A small stem-type chandelier belongs to the Classicism style. The baluster-shaped stem is spread at the top, repoussed with fine segments and pearls and terminates beneath with a functional dish-shaped detail and seven arms. The S-shaped arms are thin and decorated in two places with cut edges' leaves. The arms terminate with bottomless bell-shaped sconces placed upside-down. Usually, arms of the chandelier terminate with a sconce for candle and a drip pan, source to catch falling wax from a candle. In this case, the deep and wide sconce performs both functions — holds the candle and catches the wax. Strands of copper and silver tin beads provide playfulness to the chandelier. Smaller pink beads are alternately threaded with larger silver beads. All beads are different and slightly imperfect and therefore, charming. Seven strands are attached to the edge of the sconce beneath and to the widened edge of the stem at the top. It is decorated with acanthus leaves — typical décor of the classicism style chandeliers made by professional masters. Because their current condition is much better than the rest of the chandelier, it is likely that they are added later or created during the restoration of the chandelier. Stem and dish are decorated in several places with finely embossed bands.

An experienced master made the chandelier preserved in the Lithuanian National Museum of Art. The master in the details of the chandelier sensitively conveyed the classicism style that predominated at that time. The chandelier could hang in a small wooden Lithuanian manor or an apartment of a wealthy townsman. A slightly larger chandelier, though manufactured using similar technique and style, hangs in the church of Kruonis (Kaišiadorys district). Similar lighting devices are known in the Orthodox churches in Poland, Podlaskie Voivodeship: St. Archangel Michael in Stary Kornin, the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan in Narew and the Ascension of Jesus Christ in Nowoberezowo.

This typologically rare chandelier is distinguished by artistic and historical value and is one of the most valuable wares from Lithuanian classicism.

Literature and sources:
  1. Sietynas, XVIII a. II p., Novoberezovo (lenk. Nowoberezowo) Kristaus Dangun Žengimo cerkvė, in: Lenkijos nacionalinio paveldo instituto archyvas, Nr. BKX 200 001 153.
  2. Sietynas, XIX a. II p., Narevo (lenk. Narew) Kazanės Dievo Motinos ikonos cerkvė, in: Lenkijos nacionalinio paveldo instituto archyvas, Nr. BKX 100 001 080.
  3. Sietynas, XIX a. II p., Stari Kornino (lenk. Stary Kornin) Šv. Arkangelo Mykolo cerkvė, in: Lenkijos nacionalinio paveldo instituto archyvas, Nr. BKX 470 001 637.
  4. Valtaitė-Gagač Alantė, XVII a.–XX a. 4 dešimtmečio sietynų paveldas Lietuvoje: Daktaro disertacija, Vilnius: Vilniaus dailės akademija, 2015, p. 220.