I always wondered how to start stories about the poets or writers that I love so much. With their words? But sometimes, this is not enough, especially when we talk about Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, the genius of Lithuania - a painter, a writer, and a composer. M.K. Čiurlionis was a very gifted person, and Lithuanians will be forever thankful for the amazing works he left us. From the sonnets, photography and graphics to the paintings and literary writings. Foreigners can acquaint with the art of M.K. Čiurlionis in almost every part of Lithuania.
Talking about M.K. Čiurlionis music, it is worth to say that he had quite a short creative period, which lasted a bit over ten years. During this time, Čiurlionis music varied between the traditional romanticism to the compositions of modern atonal music. He graduated from the Warsaw Institute of Music and later on the Royal Conservatory of Music of Leipzig. There, Čiurlionis studied together with S. Jadassohn and C. Reinecke. When he was studying in Leipzig, Čiurlionis started to paint as well, and this changed his music substantially - from the romantic to more constructive artistic creations. He started the atonal music era.
You can listen to the original music of M.K. Čiurlionis in his museum called the Čiurlionis House and located in Vilnius. In this house, Čiurlionis lived between 1907 and 1908. The Čiurlionis House has his art exhibition, a room full of information about the composer’s life and art. The greatest thing about Čiurlionis House is that it has its music recordings and premises for chamber music. In the Čiurlionis House, various events - concerts, evenings, cultural events, conferences are held every week.
Čiurlionis left us over 300 paintings and prints. The period of Čiurlionis painting career lasted over six years. During this time, Čiurlionis didn't stop with the music - he painted and created music at the same time. The paintings of Čiurlionis have the ideas of Neo-Romanticism, Symbolism and Art Nouveau. Many of his works were painted during the summer vacations in his parents' house in Druskininkai. Čiurlionis paintings are full of symbolism, forms, graphics, and figures.
To explore Čiurlionis artworks, you can visit the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art in Kaunas. The bulk of Čiurlionis works are housed in this museum, together with other famous Lithuanian painters works. Also, except the Čiurlionis heritage, the museum also has Lithuanian folk, fine and applied arts items from the 15th to the 20th century, as well as ancient world art and foreign art legacy.
From my early school age, I remember my literature lessons. I remember that the first time I read the letters of M.K. Čiurlionis, I thought those were the most romantic words ever. Till now, I didn't change my mind. Čiurlionis wrote many literary works, but the letter to his wife, Sofija Kymantaitė-Čiurlionienė, is considered one of the most significant inputs to Lithuanian literature. Čiurlionis wrote letters to his wife in Polish, as it was common among the writers at that time. The letters were inspired by his wife and are full of symbols, music and love.
You can find the table where many of these letters were written in the M.K. Čiurlionis Memorial Museum in Druskininkai. A former Čiurlionis summer house nowadays holds many of his personal items, paintings, original piano, and his room. The Memorial Museum also holds excursions, exhibitions and generally is full of Čiurlionis aura.
People say that in every generation, there is at least one genius. For sure, Čiurlionis was one of them. Acquaint with the art of M.K. Čiurlionis across Lithuania - listen to his music in Vilnius, explore his paintings in Kaunas and read his love letters in Druskininkai. Since M.K. Čiurlionis with his works inspired hundreds of Lithuanians, you can find his influence in very surprising places of Lithuania. You just need to keep your eyes and heart open.
Cover picture © Credits to Wikimedia Commons/ciurlionis.eu/ Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis
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