Logo of the Exibition "Christianity in Lithuanian Art". Picture by Antanas Luksenas


(28 December, 1999 - 31 December, 2003)

From Dionyzas Varkalys collection, Klaipeda

Audrone Bliujiene

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 blacksmith’s 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 Historical style.

Lithuanian Art Museum, Fund of Samogitian Culture, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics 
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     Page updated 2011.08.12