• Pilies Street in pictures by Jan Bulhak

      Pilies Street in pictures by Jan Bulhak

      Photography traces its origins to the advent of daguerreotype dating back to 1839. January 7, when the invention of the photography technique by Luji Dager was confirmed at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences.

      Innovative western winds also reached Lithuania, which was then part of the Tsarist Russian Empire. Just a month after the publication of L. Dager 's invention, in 1839. February 14th In Vilnius, the periodical "Kurjer Litewski" started to write about the invention of daguerreotype, its significance and possibilities of use. Still, it had to be about fifteen years after the advent of daguerreotype that the theory of early photographic technique paved the way for the possibilities of practice. Thus, it was not until 1854 that examples of daguerreotype practices were discovered in the country (the inscriptions of Druskininkai, an officer of Daugavpils fortress, provided information on photography in Lithuania), which followed shortly, leaving room for the real development of photography.

      Photography in Lithuania was closely intertwined with important historical events of the country that influenced its further development.

      Although the arrival of photography in Lithuania took quite a long time compared to neighboring nations (Latvians, Estonians, Poles), later Lithuanians often took the leading positions in the further stages of the technology of capturing and preserving images.

      As soon as the new technological and artistic genre in Lithuania begins to develop and develop, the future centers of photography begin to emerge. The first of these is Vilnius. The most prominent representative of this center, named after Jan Bulhak, the pioneer of artistic landscape photography in Lithuania and the father of Polish photography. He was an excellent portraitist, art photographer, photographer, philosopher, who formed the architectural and spiritual environment first in Vilnius (1912 - 1919), and later in Lithuania and neighboring Poland (1920 - 1930). Working through the notion of photographic impressionism, while being very sensitive to the contrast of light and shadow, he made a conscious effort to approach abstraction in his photographs. His ideal was Homeland Photography. Mr Bulhak linked the patriotic function of the 19th century with the trends of the Paris Photography Club, thus promoting national, national values. As Virgilijus Juodakis wrote in the monograph "History of Lithuanian Photography 1854 - 1940": "J. Bulhak tried to combine photography with drawing and did so in a very subtle way - without seeing a negative in his photographs, it was impossible to distinguish between what was retouched and what was drawn. All of this helped him to create lyrical landscapes, to give meaning to the landscape, to highlight the extension of light and to get closer to painting. ”
      Jan Bulhak initiated the Photographic Movement in Vilnius, which in 1926 acquired the organizational structures of the Vilnius Amateur Society (bringing together beginner photographers - practicing exhibitions) and the Vilnius Photo Club. The latter was reorganized and incorporated into the "Polish Photo Club" in 1930, bringing together not only the occupied Lithuanian capital but also Poland as a whole. VU), Department of Fine Arts, Department of Art Photography from 1919 to 1939. According to V. Juodakis: "At the beginning of the 20th century there were only a few schools of photography in Europe: only at that time in Petrograd, Paris, Munich, Warsaw and Vilnius." The most famous works of J. Bulhak are: Photography, Light Aesthetics and Homeland Photography.

      Jan Bulhak was a chronicler of the city of Vilnius. His photos reflected the everyday life of the city, its people, its architectural monuments, its streets. Well, one of them (Pilies Street) got a lot of attention.
      Pilies Street is one of the most popular streets of Vilnius since ancient times, as the main artery of the Old Town carries huge flows of tourists and locals. What different eras she has seen, the countless legs of the privileged and ordinary, and the mysteries of history she knows, where each home is like a separate world with an individual chronological band of key dates, events, and prominent personalities. And there were many, from Jurgis Radvila to Czesław Miłosz, from Adam Mickiewicz to Antanas Šabaniauskas, from Valerijonas Protasevičius to Simonas Daukantas and many others who worked for Lithuania and its people.

      We invite you to admire Pilies Street, captured in the photos of Jan Bulhak.

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