The exhibition "The Twelve. Illustrations and Comics"
The exhibition presents the first disciples of Jesus Christ who were called apostles (Greek apostolos, ‘messenger’). The New Testament reads that Jesus originally called twelve disciples. They were Peter, James the Elder, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the Less, Judas Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot. In fact, there were more of them. The traitor Judas was replaced by the chosen apostle Matthias, and Paul, although he did not meet Jesus directly, is also called an apostle because he spread the teachings of Jesus with great fervour.
The tradition of representing the apostles developed based on biblical stories, apocryphal works, and legends. Their lives, like those of many other saints, are described in The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine, a collection of lives of early Christian and medieval saints that had a great influence on medieval art and literature.
There are two historically formed ways of representation of saints, including the apostles – the narrative one, which describes the history of the saint’s life, and the allegorical one, symbolically representing the typical attributes of the saint’s virtues and experienced trials. Today, these traditions can be excellently conveyed through comics and illustrations. Artists from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Ukraine have chosen these genres to make drawings that follow the usual iconographic tradition, or discovered an original way of narration and representation. Miglė Anušauskaitė, Povilas Vincentas Jankūnas, Justina Norkutė-Širin, Alona Shostko, Daria Filippova, Francesco Rosso, Linda Valere, Oleksandr Shatokhin, Robert Rūrāns ir Tomasz Bereźnicki found the inspiration for the illustrations and comics in the laconic descriptions of the apostles, the lands they have visited, the stories of their calling and martyrdom. All of it let the artists to think over their relation with religion and history. In turn, their works invites us to look in a new way to the meaning of discipleship – how it was understood by the twelve apostles of Christ – their values and choices.
The exhibition is open until September 4, 2024.
Exhibition curators: Kamilė Jagėlienė, Laura Misiūnaitė
Designer Vilija Biekšaitė
Funding for the museum is provided by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius Archdiocese.Media sponsors: bernardinai.lt, „Vilnius 700“