"CHRISTIANITY IN LITHUANIAN ART"
(28 December, 1999 - 31
CROSSES OF LITHUANIA MINOR
From Dionyzas Varkalys collection, Klaipeda
Metal crosses which came from the tops of the tomb markers in the
cemeteries of Lithuania Minor are the most numerous extant specimen of
all memorial markers of the area. The unknown metal crosses collected in
the old and deserted cemeteries are beautiful specimen of a blacksmiths
craft. Decoration schemes of the crosses reflect centuries old ideals of
beauty and deep religious feelings of the craftsmen who wrought them.
Crosses shaped after a Latin cross are distinguished by indigenous
ornamentation dominated by floral motifs. In contrast to crosses that
come from other areas in Lithuania, the crosses from Lithuania Minor
have no crucifix. Instead of a crucifix, at the intersection, a square
or oval plaque bearing the main data about the deceased person would be
attached. Most of the crosses of Lithuania Minor came from Klaipeda
based smith shops run by Gustaw Katzke (founded in 1895) and Franz Grim.
The crosses of Lithuania Minor drew much from a diverse Protestant
culture. They were wrought in 19-early - 20C. and have elements of