Reflections of Young Poland Ideas in the Texts of M.K. Čiurlionis

Rasa Andriušytė-Žukienė (PDF)

The start of the artistic creation of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis coincided with the intense artistic change in Poland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the symbolist movement of Young Poland (Młoda Polska) was active. The Young Poland, a gathering of writers and artists, became the centre of Polish modern art, influencing individual personalities and the artistic life of cultural centres in Lviv, Warsaw and Vilnius. Čiurlionis, who lived in Poland for about ten years between 1894 and 1906 and took an active part in the life of the Warsaw School of Art, was also influenced by the ideas of that time. The Young Poland movement played an important role in developing the personality of Čiurlionis. Čiurlionis was partly inspired by the ideas of the intellectuals of that time. His philosophical interests and aesthetic fascinations are close to the ideas expressed by the literates and critics of Young Poland in the Chimera magazine and private salons and artistic studios. An analysis of his letters and literature creation suggests that the Lithuanian artist was not a consistent follower of the ideas of Young Poland. In his letters, Čiurlionis rejects the individualism and self-analysis promoted by the leader of Young Poland. His thoughts reflected both the ethical and cultural ideas of the Young Poland and the positive attitudes that opposed them.

Keywords: symbolism, Warsaw School of Arts, artists, literature, philosophical interests