The Tower of Gediminas’ Castle
Author: Strebeika Česlovas
Material / technique: oil on plywood.
Dimensions: 36x27.5 cm.
Signature: Č. Strebeika 1939 (in the bottom-left corner of the painting).
Česlovas Strebeika lived in Vilnius during the interwar period, which at that time was incorporated into Poland. He was an amateur painter, and ran a framing workshop on Vilniaus Street. Conscious of his Lithuanian nationality, he criticised the policies of the local administration, and its discrimination against and persecution of his countrymen. Therefore, when Vilnius was returned to Lithuania in 1939 under an agreement with the Soviet Union, and the Grand Duke Gediminas First Infantry Regiment marched into the city on October 29 and hoisted the Lithuanian tricolour flag on the tower of Gediminas’ Castle, he cheered along with all the other Lithuanian residents of the city. That historic moment is commemorated in this picture: the tower of Gediminas’ Castle is seen close up between two trees, with the bright flag, showing that Vilnius was again the capital of Lithuania. Gediminas Hill, as the site of the birth of Lithuanian Vilnius, attracted Strebeika, and he painted other views of it, including the ruins of the east section of the Upper Castle.
Reference: Art album Vilnius. Topophilia (Volume I). Compiled by L. Laučkaitė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2014, I volume, P. 72.
Published: Art album Vilnius. Topophilia (Volume I). Compiled by L. Laučkaitė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2014, I volume, P. 72; Tomas Venclova. "Lietuvos istorija visiems". Antras tomas. R. Paknio leidykla, 2019 m. P. 254.