Jonas Mackevičius

(1872 - 1954)


Jonas Mackevičius was born in 1872 in Raguva, Panevežys county. In 1894 he graduated from the Moscow Art Promotion School, in 1896. - Princess Taniševa’s Art Studio and in 1901 - Art Academy. While living in St. Petersburg, Jonas Mackevičius was a member of artists’ group “Peredvižniki”. Approaching the tercentenary jubilee of Romanov dynasty, Jonas Mackevičius painted a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II. The portrait was recognized as the best by the Tsar himself and it was allowed to print it in jubilee publications. This contest brought him fame.
Jonas Mackevičius visited various European countries, Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt, etc. In 1907 the painter participated in the first Lithuanian art exhibition in Vilnius and afterwards joined the Lithuanian Art Society. For a long time, in 1914-1929 he lived on the island of Capri, Italy. It is an important period in painter‘s creative life. In 1926 exhibitions of his works were held in Kaunas and other cities. Jonas Mackevičius until 1940 was a watercolour and drawing teacher at Art school. During that time he also participated in art exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad. He was one of the founders of Lithuanian Artists' Association. In 1938 he was awarded the Order of Gediminas III degree. In 1944, Soviet army approaching to Lithuania, Jonas Mackevičius left for the West and settled in Switzerland, in the canton of Roveredo. He died in 1954. Switzerland.


Jonas Mackevičius was a representative of traditional academic realism, inclined to romanticism. In some of his works from Italian period the influence of impressionism can also be felt. In large-format historical works, painted for Kaunas Vytautas the Great War Museum - "Lithuanian Army March in Vilnius”, “The Priest A. Mackevičius Blesses Rebels’ of the Year 1863 Flags”, “Vytautas the Great in Novgorod land”, “Vytautas the Great by the Black Sea”, “Convention of Luck”, etc. – the artist very carefully conveys spirituality, mood, characteristics, colours and excellent composition of the events His landscape paintings have colourfulness (especially images of Capri), cheerfulness.