Author: Zikaras Juozas, 1881 - 1944
Material / technique: bronze, bas relief.
Dimensions: Ø 51.
Signature: J Zikaras / 1922 (in the bottom-right corner of the painting).
Portrait sculpture in the work of Juozas Zikaras takes a special place. Being one of the greatest masters of portrait Zikaras created a whole gallery of images of Lithuania’s prominent people. He produced almost one hundred portrait sculptures alone. Most notable are portrait sculptures of the architect Mykolas Songaila, Vydūnas, Jonas Šliūpas (1922), Liudvika Didžiulienė-the Wife (1924), Jonas Basanavičius (1926), Maironis (1928), the surgeon Vladas Kuzma (1930), Petras Vaičiūnas (1931), Vladimiras Dubeneckis (1931), Mikas Petrauskas (1934-1936), etc. Most of bas relief portraits are composed in profile (except for the en face portrait of Didžiulienė-the Wife).
Published: Académie de Vilna. VILNIUS DRAWING SCHOOL 1866–1915. Exhibition Catalogue. Compiled by dr. J. Širkaitė, Vilnius 2017, Cat. No. 387 P. 356.
Not included in the catalogue of the publication Juozas Zikaras is the work “Portrait of a Man” (medallion, (Ø 51), bronze, 1922, signed J. Zikaras/1922), currently in possession of lawyer Jaunius Gumbis. I would venture a guess that this is an image of the historian and former Minister of Education, Professor Jonas Yčas (1880–1931) (Figure 7). Zikaras met the education specialist Yčas in the city of Panevėžys, where Zikaras was appointed to run the girls’ and boys’ gymnasiums in June of 1920 and Yčas worked there as an art teacher. By allowing Zikaras to occupy a small space in the sports hall of the gymnasium for his workshop, Yčas provided his friend with the conditions for creative work that he so sorely lacked. Their relationship was not just that of a principal and subordinate teacher; the friendship extended to their families as well. A bas-relief of Yčas is included in the Zikaras’ gallery of portrait images in Panevėžys.
Reference: Skirmantė Smilingytė-Žeimienė.Juozas Zikaras: remarkos. MENOTYRA 2019. T. 26. Nr. 1, p. 31–46, Lithuanian Academy of Science, 2019.
Published: Skirmantė Smilingytė-Žeimienė.Juozas Zikaras: remarkos. MENOTYRA 2019. T. 26. Nr. 1, p. 31–46, Lithuanian Academy of Science, 2019. P. 41.