Awaiting for Modernism’ in Vilnius

Andrzej Romanowski (PDF)

At the turn of the 1890s and 1890s, the modernist cultural model in Warsaw appeared before the first modernist literary experiments. At that time, the place of Polish culture in Vilnius was taken by Russian culture. Although the antagonism of Lithuanian Poles to Russian culture was fostered by the conversion of Catholic churches into Orthodox churches and the erection of monuments to Russian figures, there was also a symbiotic relationship between the local community and Russian settlers in Lithuania. It can be explained by the attraction of St Petersburg and Russian culture in Lithuania in the eighteenth century. Furthermore, no Polish writers lived in Vilnius from 1886 to 1890. There was also no literature written in Lithuanian before 1905 in Vilnius. Therefore, the first signs of the new art in Vilnius were in the predominant Russian culture, the Russian City Theatre. Later, novelties also appeared in Vilnius literature. At the same time, new accents emerged in the paintings in Vilnius, created by artists who came from Poland and received their art education there. Therefore, the paradox is that the culture of the Russian newcomers laid the background for modernism in Vilnius.
Keywords: cultural modernism, literature, painting, Russian culture, Lithuania