A collection of religious wall paintings of mass production in the Adomas Petrauskas Museum. Stations of the Cross at the Uoginiai Cemetery Chapel

Ieva Bobinaitė

Religious wall prints, which had been poorly investigated in Lithuanian historiography, dated from the second half of the 19th c. to the first half of the 20th c., are discussed in the paper. Based on publications by foreign investigators, formation of wall painting images and tendencies in their spreading in the main printing centres in Germany and France are discussed. In the 19th c. and the first half of the 20th c. massive production of religious wall prints and their selling was consistently developing in these centres affecting the daily life of people at a growing rate. Several types of such images had been gradually sifted out, which differed, however, in their performance technique, purpose and format. The modes of wall prints spread not only within West Europe, they were exported to East Europe, South America and Canada.

In Lithuania, the wall prints started to be spread from mid-19th c. First of all, they reached the living home spaces, and later they were taken to prayer houses. Before the start-20th c., the printed pictures together with other church products had been brought in from main printing houses in Germany and France. From the beginning of the 20th c., especially during the interwar period, local printing houses were developing, but they produced mainly black and white lithographs.

The collection of wall prints in the Adomas Petrauskas Museum (Kupiškis District) is among the biggest ones stored in Lithuanian museums and contains 86 prints of such a type. The graphic prints are notable for a variety of techniques, printing places and iconographic subjects. The greatest number of the prints are attributed to the German printing houses and dated as the last decades of the 19th c. By the variety of iconographic subjects, the exhibits present in this museum are well representing the devotion tendencies in the second half of the 19th c. and the start-20th c., but there are some notable for rarity of an iconographic subject.

Moreover, the collection is usefully supplemented by the Stations of the Cross in the cemetery chapel at the village of Uoginiai (Kupiškis District).