General Mykolas Velykis
Author: Varnelis Kazys, 1917 - 2010
Created: around 1942.
Material / technique: oil on canvas.
Dimensions: 115x92 cm.
Signature: Varnelis (in the bottom-right corner of the painting).
Varnelis took a keen interest in history and collecting. At the time when the portrait was painted he was the head of the Ecclesiastical Art Museum in Kaunas. In 1943, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna where in 1945 he acquired the diploma of an academic painter. In 1949, he moved to the USA and settled in Chicago. The portrait created by one of the world’s best known optic art (op art) artists conveys the stylistics of new objectivity. The representational genre is combined with a bold creative quest.
Lieutenant General Velykis, builder of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and Minister of Defence in the First and Second cabinets, is portrayed standing at the window through which the view opens to the towers of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Kaunas. He is depicted without a military uniform.
Velykis taught at the High Officers’ Courses and the Military School. He wrote for publications such as Kariūnas and Lietuvos Žinios, and was the chairman of the Economic Enterprise of Soldiers. In 1939, Velykis established a liqueur production factory and represented the 'Vikers' company in Lithuania.
In 1944, soon after his 60th birthday, he was arrested and imprisoned in Kaunas and then in Vilnius. In 1946, he was deported to Siberia. In 1951, Velykis was sentenced to 25 years in labour camps in Archangelsk Region.
of the "Meetings" exhibition. - M. K.Čiurlionis National Museum
of Art, Kaunas.
Exhibitions: Exhibition of the dr. J. Gumbis art collection “Meetings”, 2015 July 3 – September 6, M. K.Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas.
Published: "Kaunas-Vilnius 1918-1945”, The Art collection of the law firm Ellex Valiunas. Compilars D. Barcytė, dr. I. Burbaitė. Vilnius, 2021, P. 212.