Author: Samuolis Antanas, 1899 - 1942
Material / technique: oil on canvas.
Dimensions: 60x46.5 cm.
The self-portrait of Antanas Samuolis (1899–1942) executed in an expressive manner and vibrant colours was painted when the author studied at the Kaunas Art Studio of Justinas Vienožinskis. It is a frank look of the twenty-six-year-old painter at himself. The 1925 self-portrait depicts Samuolis as a strong person with a fiery look. His colleague and fellow artist, Neemija Arbit Blatas, later said of Samuolis: ‘There was truth, dignity, and … loneliness about Samuolis.’ (Raimundas Samulevičius. Baltoji obelis. Vilnius: Vaga, 1985, p. 22). The radically different energy of Samuolis’ works is still characteristic of his paintings even today. His short creative path was purposeful and mature. All known self-portraits of Samuolis convey certainty and naked exposure before himself and the viewer. In this case, it is the fiery look of the young man which conveys his psychological condition. Prof. Antanas Andrijauskas, who explored Samuolis’ creative oeuvre in detail, wrote: ‘Apart from Čiurlionis, he was the first of our artists, prior to the arrival of abstraction trends, to avoid clutter with irrelevant details and shapes typical to the tradition of folk art, and this trait was rare among artists. The fear of empty space nearly pathological in the case of many artists of the time, is alien to him; on the contrary, his art manifests what is broadly known in art criticism as the non-finito principle of omission, aesthetic implication typical only of intellectual artists.(Antanas Andrijauskas. Antano Samuolio tapybinė ekspresija // LOGOS. 2008, Nr. 54 (January-March). P. 130–131)
Reference: Description of the "Meetings" exhibition. - M. K.Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas.
Exhibitions: Exhibition of dr. J. Gumbis art collection “Meetings”, 2015 July 3 – September 6, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas.
Published: "Outcrops of Lithuanian Art 16th–21th Centuries", Vilnius Exhibition of the Fine Arts Collection of Edmundas Armoška, Vilnius: Lithuanian Art Museum, 2008 Kat. No. III, 26, P. 126; "Samuolis". Compiled by Viktoras Liutkus. Vilnius: Artists' Union Press, 2006; Petravičius Viktoras. "Autumn Art Exhibition II". 6 December 1936 – 10 January 1937. Lithuanian Artists' Union. Kaunas: Church Art Museum, Kat. Nr. 93; "Kaunas-Vilnius 1918-1945”, The Art collection of the law firm Ellex Valiunas. Compilars D. Barcytė, dr. I. Burbaitė. Vilnius, 2021, P. 126.