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23 Apr 2013

Slutsk belts from Lviv History Museum to go on display in Minsk

MINSK, 23 April (BelTA) – The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus jointly with the British-American Tobacco Trading Company will present the exhibitions “Portraits of Rulers and Magnates of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania” from the collections of the Lviv and Lutsk museums, and “Slutsk Belts from the Collection of the Lviv History Museum” on 8 May.

"Slutsk Belts from the Collection of the Lviv History Museum" is one of the projects organized under the state program to revive the technology and traditions of production of Slutsk belts and to develop the national souvenirs industry for 2012-2015.

Four unique belts will be on display. Two of them were made by Slutsk manufactory in the time of Leon Madzarski and have the labels “In the City of Slutsk”. The belts feature floral motifs in the form of stylized flower bouquets, gold and silver threads. One belt is made at the factory of Frantiszek Maslowski (1758–1830) in Krakow, as evidenced by the label in the corner of the belt. Its decoration is fully consistent with Slutsk manufactory traditions. The fourth belt has no signatures, but was made according to the best samples of Leon Madzarski’s works. Rich colors, exact proportions, sophisticated design make the kontusz belt an artwork of great value. So far the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus has only fragments of Slutsk belts.

“For over ten years we have taken a very active part in the projects of the National Art Museum of Belarus and consider it an important part of our corporate culture. After all, such expositions is an opportunity to come into contact with the spiritual heritage of the Belarusian nation, remember about its best representatives and the skillful craftsmen who made those amazing belts,” said Pavel Bocharov, director of the British-American Tobacco Trading Company.

The largest and oldest museums of Lviv such as the History Museum and the National Art Gallery, which have the collections of the 19th - early 20th centuries, and also Volyn Local History Museum founded in 1928, have loaned their works for the exhibitions at the National Art Museum of Belarus.

A large part of the exposition is the portraits of the rulers and statesmen of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the 14th to 18th centuries: Kings Wladyslaw Jagiello, Stephen Bathory, Wladyslaw Vasa and the powerful Radziwill family. Eight Radziwill portraits come from the Radziwill Castle in Olyka in Volyn. For the first time Belarusian historians, researchers and art lovers will have a chance to see the portraits of the Sapiehas, the Tyszkiewicz family, Sanguszko, Pociej.

One of the highlights will be the portraits from the collection of the Radziwill estate in Zaushe (near Nesvizh) by Lviv artist Konstantin Alexandrovich. Undoubtedly, visitors will be impressed by the portraits of fine women such as Barbara Radziwill, Eleonor Maria Josefa of Austria, wife of King John III Marie Casimire Sobieska and other highborn ladies.

“The two expositions create a multidimensional image of the epoch: the famous Slutsk belts, the cultural symbol of Belarus, and gold-embroidered portraits of the contemporaries. I believe visitors will appreciate the stunning works of Belarusian artists – portrait-painters and weavers, who are our national treasure,” said Director of the National Art Museum of Belarus Vladimir Prokoptsov.

The expositions have been organized by the Culture Ministry of Belarus, the Culture Ministry of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus. The exhibition of portraits will stay open until 26 August 2013, that of belts until 18 April 2014.


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