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main destination guide museums radvilos palace


MUSEUMS IN VILNIUS

Radvilos Palace

    The Radvilos Palace, the branch of the Lithuanian Art Museum, was built at the end of the 17th century for Jonusas Radvila (1612-1655), the chief of Samogitia, the hetman of Lithuania, and the voevode of Vilnius. Three-story building with lavishly decorated two-story galleries, constructed by the project of the famous architect Jonas Ulrichas, was one of the most beautiful in Vilnius of the 18th century. But because of fires and wars, by the beginning of the 20th century the palace was practically ruined. It was handed over to the Vilnius Philanthropy Society that ran the building up to1940. In 1967, the reconstruction started in the palace hasn't been completely finished yet. Since 1990, the Radvilos Palace houses the branch of Lithuanian Art Museum. The permanent exposition displays the development of foreign art from the 16th to the present day.
     The rich collection of the museum encompasses all the main art schools and gives the clear conception of the history of European art since the Italian Renaissance. The basis of the collection was comprised of private collections, donated to the Lithuanian Art Society. After the Second World War the collection was considerably enriched by the paintings confiscated from the private houses and churches according to decree of the Soviet authorities. The treasures of the museum collection are the paintings by such outstanding artists as Salvator Rosa, Hobbema and Jacob van Ruisdael, and the prints by Piranesi, Canaletto, Durer, Rembrandt and Goya. The gallery holds some paintings by the masters of the Russian school - Repin, Levitan, Roerich and others. There is also a wide collection of the pictures of minor European artists not so well known to the public.
     In one of the halls, you can find an exhibition devoted to the former owners of the palace - Radvilos family. The members of this family played an important role in the city's history; among them there were chancellors, voevodes, hetmans, bishops and even a queen (Jurgis Radvila, 1556-1600). At the exhibition, there are 165 portraits of the noble members of the family engraved by self-taught master Hirsz Leybowicz (1700-1770).



Address: Vilniaus St., 22
Phone: 370-5-2121477, 370-5-2120166