Lithuanian Girl with Palm Sunday Fronds | Kanutas Ruseckas
In the first half of the 19th century genre art became particularly relevant in artworks of Romanticism painters, as well as of professors and graduates of Vilnius University departments of fine arts (so called Vilnius Art School). Genre scenes depicting lifestyles, traditions, and customs both of nobility and peasants were essential part of Vilnius Romanticism. Set of artworks by Kanutas Ruseckas portraying folk customs and traditions were very well-liked in society of that time. One of the most popular and well-known artwork of that set is the picture “Lithuanian Girl with Palm Sunday Fronds” (also known as “Palm Sunday”). This modestly and somewhat restrainedly painted canvas expresses folk perception of beauty. Vibrating rococo church is delicately compared with outdoor dry-grass fronds glowing in gold. Idealised image of young and humble ethnic Lithuanian girl, Catholic, embodies love for homeland, hinting towards national and Catholic traditions of the country. As a result for some this painting even became the symbol of the 19th century’s Lithuanian fine arts.