Portrait of his wife Anelė
Portrait of his wife Anelė
Portrait of his wife Anelė

Portrait of his wife Anelė

Author: Wańkowicz Walenty , 1800 - 1842

Created: around1833. 

Material / technique: oil on canvas.

Dimensions:  29,5 x 23,5 cm. 

This canvas, which is in private collections, depicts a young noble woman dressed in clothes of the first half of the 19th century. The portrait is intimate and intimate, not intended for representation, but rather as a memory for her relatives. An inscription on the other side of the frame indicates that it is a portrait of Mrs Dochtorovičienė, painted by Valentinas Vankavičius, a student of the famous Vilnius Art School. V. Vankavičius is one of the most famous artists of Vilnius Art School. He was born in Kalužytsy Manor (present-day Belarus), studied at the Jesuit Academy in Polotsk, studied at Vilnius University from 1818 to 1824 (he studied painting and drawing with J. Rustem), and from 1825 to 1829 he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts under the direction of the Vilnius University of Arts. Afterwards, he lived on his estate near Minsk and in Vilnius. In 1839 he went abroad and died in Paris in 1842, in the apartment of his friend, the poet Adam Mickiewicz, and was buried in Montmartre Cemetery.V. Vankavičius' works are not numerous in Lithuanian collections. The legacy of the deceased artist, who died young at the hands of Adam Mickiewicz in Paris, is not particularly rich, and is scattered among Lithuanian, Polish, Belarusian and French collections. The appearance of a hitherto unknown work by Vankavičius in Lithuania is therefore a significant event. The nature of the painting is entirely in keeping with Vankavičius' style, and the painting is professional and subtle. The importance of the image is further enhanced by the fact that the portrait depicts the artist's wife, Anelė Rostock (c. 1808-after 1873). Originally from the Pinsk area, Rostock was taken care of by a relative, Medardo Rostockis, who was also the guardian of Adam Mickiewicz and his brothers, after losing his parents early on. Anelė and V. Vankavičius married in 1825 and had several children. Three of Vankavičius' sons later became active participants in the 1863 Uprising. A few years after the artist's death, the widow remarried to Jan Dochtorowicz (1816-?), a Lithuanian landowner.In 1845, the marriage was registered in the Maišiagala church.Both the authorship of the work and the person depicted in the portrait can be reliably identified by comparing it with the portrait of his wife and children painted by Vankavičius, which is preserved in the National Museum in Warsaw. This work is also small in size (23 x 17,5), signed (W.W.) and dated 1833. The only difference is in the woman's clothing: the portrait in Lithuania shows her wearing a modest but elegant dress with a large white collar, with an expensive cashmere shawl in her arms - an essential element of a noble woman's outfit in the first half of the 19th century.In general, Vankavičis was characterised by small canvas formats, and in the early years of his career he mostly painted miniatures. It is known from written sources that the artist painted his wife more than once, and there were even several family portraits in the collections of his relatives. According to the testimony of the ancients, the girl was of extraordinary, "Raphaelite" beauty. It is mentioned that Vankavičius often used his wife's image as a model for religious compositions (paintings of the Holy Family), and therefore her portrait is important for the attribution of other possible works by Vankavičius. (dr. (hp) Rūta Janonienė).