Plough My Account Sign Out
My Account
    View Cart

    Subtotal: $

    painted background

    Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis: The Hymn

    By Vilija Kačergytė-Compy

    June 13, 2015

    During his brief creative career, the ­Lithuanian artist and composer ­Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911) produced around four hundred paintings and an equal number of musical works. Čiurlionis stands as a unique figure in European art history. His distinctive talent makes him difficult to classify into any one school; some have called him a symbolist, while others point to his role as a pioneer of abstract art.

    Čiurlionis’s biography includes striking parallels to the life of Vincent van Gogh. Both artists were driven by an intense search for the transcendent, and both threw themselves with abandon into the quest to express truths that they felt stemmed from a source beyond them. Both collapsed physically and mentally under the immense demands of this creative effort, and both died in their mid-thirties.

    Čiurlionis began as a musician, attending the conservatories in Warsaw and Leipzig. Despite his achievements as a composer – his works for orchestra, piano, and string quartet are still performed – he developed a growing passion for expressing his visions through painting.

    In the artworks he produced during the final three years of his life, he sought to portray the underlying and invisible reality of the world rather than merely its surface. Frequent themes include the beauty of the thoughts of the Creator as well as the struggle of two opposing forces in the spiritual realm. Romain Rolland, the French writer and Nobel laureate, sums it up: “There is a continent for the spirit, and Čiurlionis is its Christopher Columbus.”

    Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, The Hymn, 1904–1905 Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, The Hymn, 1904–1905. View larger image
    You have ${x} free ${w} remaining. This is your last free article this month. We hope you've enjoyed your free articles. This article is reserved for subscribers.

      Already a subscriber? Sign in

    Try 3 months of unlimited access. Start your FREE TRIAL today. Cancel anytime.

    Start free trial now