Petras Rimša

Petras Rimša (1881–1961), a sculptor, medal maker and graphic artist, is considered to be a classic of Lithuanian art, in whose richly ornamented statuettes contemporaries looked for an expression of the national tradition of folk art. In fact, these works are associated primarily with the influence of the Beuron Art School, run by the Benedictines in Germany. The foundations for the school were laid in about 1868 by the architect and sculptor Peter Lenz, based on mathematical principles and the aesthetics of Egyptian art, in an attempt to get rid of the naturalism and sensualism that were characteristic of 19th-century art. In 1898, after becoming a Benedictine monk and taking the name Desiderius, he published the work Zur Ästhetik der Beuroner Schule, in which he stated that works of art should be anonymous, and they should be based on standard aesthetic principles, thus securing a stylistic unity between architecture and art, and inducing godliness. The emergence of the Beuron Art School is associated with the spread of Art Nouveau. Rimša was fond of the postures, symmetry and ornamentality that are characteristic of the school. His works were praised by the Benedictine Eugène Roulin, a Church art historian, who promoted Beuronese ideas. In his book about modern Church art, he depicted one of the flat figurines made by Rimša in the 1920s, which is similar to the composition Day and
night (E. Roulin, Nos églises, Paris, 1938, p. 735–737), interpreting it as a modern representation of the Virgin Mary. Several busts and full-length versions of Day and night under different titles are held in various collections.

Reference: Meno albumas "Ne vien grožis. Moters atvaizdas LAWIN kolekcijoje". Sud. G. Jankevičiūtė. Vilnius: LAWIN, 2012, P. 62.