Vilnius University. The Observatory Building
Vilnius University. The Observatory Building

Vilnius University. The Observatory Building

Author: Międzybłocki Adam, 1883 - 1956


Created: 1931.

Material / technique: watercolour on paper.

Dimensions: 28x21 cm.

Signature:  A. Miedzyblocki / 1931 (in the bottom-left corner of the painting).

After the 1831 uprising, Vilnius University was closed by the Imperial Russian authorities for being a hotbed of revolutionary ideas. It reopened only after the First World War in 1919, as Stephen Báthory University. During the interwar period, it was highly valued by the Polish community, and artists often chose to portray it in their work. Adam Międzyblocki (1883–1956) was one such artist. After attending the Vilnius School of Drawing, he became a student at Cracow Academy of Art. He lived in the Caucasus during the First World War, returned to Vilnius in 1922, and painted a series of watercolours of the city. He was skilful in combining precise realistic imagery with the lucid minimalism of the watercolour technique. Międzyblocki was one of the few artists whose townscapes of Vilnius were published as sets of coloured cards during the interwar period. He portrayed the square with the observatory tower, a typical view of the university, and conveyed cheerfully the tall buildings, with the setting sun lighting up the tops of the trees, and the balustrade of the observatory.

Reference: Art album Vilnius. Topophilia (Volume I) Compiled by L. Laučkaitė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2014, I volume, P. 192.

Exhibitions: Exhibition of the Fine Arts Collection of Edmundas Armoška "Outcrops of Lithuanian Art 16th–21th Centuries" 2008 July 3 - August 31, Lithuanian Art Museum, Vilnius; Académie de Vilna, 2017  October 5 - November 26, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius.

Published: Art album Vilnius. Topophilia (Volume I) Compiled by L. Laučkaitė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2014, I volume, P. 192; Académie de Vilna. VILNIUS DRAWING SCHOOL 1866–1915. Exhibition Catalogue. Compiled by dr. J. Širkaitė, Vilnius 2017, Cat. No. 302 P. 283.