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Sound background: The Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society’s Chamber Ensemble, Artistic Director and Conductor Robertas Beinaris

All panoramas of this object: Frenkelis estate-museum (12)

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The Villa of Ch. Frenkelis (1857–1920), the owner of a tannery in Šiauliai, was built in 1908. The brick building has a symmetrical plan with a tower at one end and two entrances. There is a metal fence with two wrought-iron gateways with Baroque floral designs in front, and a park with a fountain at the back. On the right there is an elaborate vestibule with a wooden staircase. Halls for receptions face the park, decorated with Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque elements. The private rooms were on the second floor.

This cultural monument in the Art Noveau style is the only one of its kind in Šiauliai and one of few in Lithuania. In 1993 the house was given over to the Aušros Museum and restoration work started. The palace is part of the „Provincial Estate“ exhibition.

The stylised interior of the manor house has been restored. This exhibition reflects the life of landowners, their cultural and artistic needs. There are seven halls: four with galleries (Oriental Art, Kings, Portraits and the Gallery), the Library, and the Yellow and Green drawing rooms.

The exhibition starts on the ground floor with the hall of Oriental Art. On display is a collection of Japanese prints from the Santekliai estate (in the district of Mažeikiai) which includes works by the most distinguished artists of the Edo period (the 19th century) – Ando Hiroshige, Utagawa Kunisada and others, and also 19 woodcuts.
In the Kings Gallery on the second floor are 16 portraits depicting Grand Dukes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland painted in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the Girkautai treasure of Polish, Lithuanian, Prussian, Swedish and German coins discovered in 1972.

The Portrait Gallery houses portraits of landowners’ families from northern Lithuania (Gorskis, Burba, Gruževskis, Pszeciševskis, Pliateris and Römeris) painted between the 17th and the 2Oth century, most of them by local painters. The six portraits of children displayed here are rare for landowners’ galleries: the portrait of M. Janavičiūtė by M. Liszkewic painted in 1859 and portraits of the daughters of the Pliateris family.

In the Library, which held an important place in a manor-house, there are displayed portraits of L. M. Odlianickis-Počobutas and his wife M. Siesickaitė-Počobutienė by an unknown local painter; portraits of J. Adomkovičius and his wife, who funded the Carmelite monastery in Kolainiai; and portraits of bishops and clergymen J. A. Giedraitis, S. J. Giedraitis, A. Tiškevičius and J. D. Lopacinskis. The Library holds many encyclopedias and books on theology, the natural sciences and history printed between the 17th and 2Oth centuries in Polish, Russian, German and French. Biedermeier furniture and various objets d’art (a box, inkwell, desk lamp, a clock and family photographs) give it a comfortable look.

The Green Drawing Room, with hunting and military items on display, is quite different. The highlight of the room is a collection of arms, the oldest being from the 17th century. On the walls are two engravings of an imposing size by the French painter B. Picarto (1673–1733) – „The Battle on the Milvi Bridge across the River Tiber in 312“ and „Constantine’s Triumphs after the Victory against Maxentius“. Displayed also are pocket watches and pipes, glass, bronze and silver items.

The Gallery completes the exhibition, with landscapes and portraits by B. P. Omeganck (1755–1826) „Landscape with Sheep“, L. Loffler’s (1827–1898) „Parents Bid Farewell to the Bride“ and A. Ricci’s (1854–?) „A scene from Life“. There are also two copies of old sculptures – the muses by G. Volpat (1732–1808).

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