About the significance of the authorship of artwork in the Radvila Manor during the 18th century

  • Aistė Paliušytė
Keywords: authorship, Radvila (Radziwiłł), artists, commission, intention, culture of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania


Relying on written sources, the article examines the understanding of the authorship of artwork in the Radvila (Radziwiłł) Manor during the 18th century. Various types of sources are analysed: occasional literature, travel descriptions, correspondence of Radvilas’ officials, inventories of art collections, etc. Mentions of the authorship of artwork in the written sources of the manor were encouraged because of the reputation of artists. The assessments of the authorship were based on common knowledge and the experience of observing paintings. When paintings were evaluated, the general characteristics of the work’s quality were usually noted. Only occasionally the individual style of the authors was recognized. The author is primarily seen as tasked with the assurance of the work’s quality. The history of the art commissions by the Radvilas testifies that the understanding of the integrity of an author’s intention was not widespread in the noblemen’s manor. The clients had varying degrees of influence on the creative process. The noblemen often presented sketches and samples for the artists to base their work on. Still, even though the artist was often an implementer of the client’s idea, there were signs that showed the significance not only of the master’s handiwork but also of his mental input. The origins of these ideas came both from the Radvilas themselves and from the most appreciated and the most informed masters in the noblemen’s manor.
Visual Art