Masterpieces of the History of the Veneration of St Casimir: Lithuania – Italy: catalogue

Compiler and author of the text: Sigita Maslauskaitė-Mažylienė
Lithuanian copy editor: Rita Markulienė
Translators: Paola Fertoli (in Italian), Aušra Simanavičiūtė (in English)
Copy editor of the Authentication of the relic of St. Casimi: Liudas Jovaiša
Designer: Gedas Čiuželis
Under the high patronage: of the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, the Archbishop Metropolitan of Vilnius Gintaras Grušas
Partner: Archdiocese of Vilnius
Mecenate: „Vakarų medienos grupė“
Supported by: Lithuanian Council for Culture, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius City Municipality, UAB „Baltisches Haus“, „Domus Maria“, „Lietuvos draudimas“, „RAE LT“
The works in the exhibition are courtesy of: Museo nazionale del Bargello, Museo delle Cappelle Medicee, Firenze; Archivio della basilica di San Lorenzo, Firenze; Galleria Regionale della Sicilia di Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo; Fondazione culturale Mandralisca, Cefalù; Lithuanian Art Museum, Vilnius; National Museum of Lithuania, Vilnius; Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, Vilnius; The Wróblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Vilnius; Vilnius University Library

Masterpieces of the History of the Veneration of St Casimir: Lithuania – Italy: catalogue. Compiler and author of the text Sigita Maslauskaitė-Mažylienė. Vilnius: Bažnytinio paveldo muziejus, 2018, 126 p.

In the catalogue, a unique exhibition “Masterpieces of the History of the Veneration of St Casimir: Lithuania – Italy” is presented. The most valuable St Casimir-themed works from the largest museums of Palermo and Florence, the Medici Treasury and the Archives of the Basilica of St Lawrence are shown for the first time in the history of Lithuania. The exhibition introduces a very important stage in the history of Lithuania, shows the spread of the cult of the patron saint of Lithuania, and reveals religious and political exchange and relations with Catholic institutions in Europe.

Reliquaries, paintings and documents, vivid testimonies of the tradition of devotion to St Casimir, are masterpieces of art. In the catalogue, they are presented with a focus on the seventeenth-century celebrations in Palermo and the devotion to St Casimir of the Florentine Medicis. The exhibition boasts an exquisite painting representing the festivities of St Casimir, the patron saint of Palermo, The Coronation of St. Casimir by Pietro Novelli (1636), a description of these festivities Il trionfo di San Casimiro, and an image of St Casimir from the Cefalú Fondazione culturale Mandralisca. Veneration of St Casimir in Florence is presented by a seventeenth-century gilded silver reliquary. The iconography of this work, the lavishness of materials and the mastery of the goldsmith Massimiliano Soldani Benzi has been a source of amazement for several generations of Italians. The document confirming the authenticity of the relic from Bishop Mikołaj Stefan Pac, held in the Archives of the Basilica of St Lawrence, a golden chalice of the Bishop of Vilnius from the Treasury of Vilnius Cathedral, and diamond-spangled treasure containing a relic of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, sent by Cosimo III Medici in return for a relic of St Casimir, is also part of this history. The exhibition expands the view of the history of St Casimir’s veneration with signs of devotion created in Lithuania, e.g., the image of St Casimir Among Angels depicting the great festivities of Vilnius in 1604.

The catalogue is published in Lithuanian and English or Italian and English.


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