Works of Albert Żamett in the Collection of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences

  • Rūta Janonienė
Keywords: Albert Żamett, Jan Kazimierz Wilczyński, the Tyszkiewicz family, landscape, Vilnius, Trakai


The article analyses the works of Albert Żamett (Zameytt, 1821–1876), an artist from Vilnius, stored in the collections of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and the Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Most of these works are from the Wroblewski collections. The diverse collection also includes such unique items as an album of studio drawings, a watercolour depicting the ruins of Trakai Castle, and a stage design project. These and other objects in the collection reflect different stages of Żamett’s creative activities and are very significant for the research on this artist’s legacy but have remained on the margins of scientific research up until now. In the article, the works of the Wroblewski collection are discussed in the broader context of Żamett’s work; some objects are published and introduced to scientific circulation for the first time. The publication discusses the artist’s relations with Jan Kazimierz Wilczyński, the publisher of Album de Vilna (The Album of Vilnius) and with patrons Benedict, Michał, and Eustachy Tyszkiewicz. The dates of some works are being revised (the painting Interior of the Palace in Gorodok – 1860, the drawing for the lithograph The Archaeology Hall of the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities – 1863). New data on various aspects of the artist’s creative activity in Vilnius are also presented. For example, it has not been noticed until now that Żamett used Sweykowski’s photography for the image of Eustachy Tyszkiewicz in the interior of the Archaeology Hall of the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities. It was also not known that Żamett led the reconstruction of the St Wladislaus Chapel in 1862–1863, during which the altar with the sculpture of the saint by Henryk Dmochowski, which has survived to this day, was installed. Unexpected information was also found in the press about the mural depicting Békés Hill, which Żamett painted in 1862 in Spohr’s confectionery on Vokiečių Street. With regard to the 1847 watercolour depicting the ruins of Trakai Castle, it was discovered that Żamett used the motif of Trakai several times and had painted several landscape versions of this theme using romantic lighting effects in some of them. The watercolour in the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences is probably the earliest and the only image of the ruins of Trakai Castle by Albert Żamett that has survived in Lithuania.