First book in Lithuanian about Polish artist available in bookstores

“Witkacy: voracious mind” (“Witkacy. Umysł drapieżny”) is the first book about Poland’s eccentric painter Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, best known as Witkacy, published in Lithuanian.

“Beautifully illustrated, on very good paper, the book is 600 pages long,” said the head of Aukso Żuvys (AZ) publishing house. The AZ issued 500 volumes of the album.

“The book is interesting for a Lithuanian reader. It presents the artist, who may be compared to our [Lithuanian 19th/20th-century painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas] Čiurlionis, as a controversial one and of Lithuanian roots,” said the AZ head.

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz is connected to Lithuania as his father Stanisław Witkiewicz was born in the village of Pašiaušė (Polish: Poszawsze) that today is located in Lithuania.

In detail and a versatile way, the book acquaints the reader with Witkiewicz’s art and features texts by numerous apprised biographers. The content is complemented with Witkiewicz’s “Cobblers” (“Szewcy”), “In a Little House” (“W małym domku”) theatric plays, and “Insatiability” and “Unwashed Souls” novels translated into Lithuanian.

Work on the book lasted a year and its purpose is to acquaint “Lithuanian readers with the artist whose life was inextricably linked to Lithuania, one who is still little known in Lithuania,” said the head of Polish Institute in Vilnius and one of the book’s masterminds, Marcin Łapczyński.

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939), commonly known as Witkacy, was a Polish writer, painter, philosopher, theorist, playwright, novelist, and photographer active before WWI and in the interwar period. He is considered a model example of a “total artist” and is recognised for painting under influence of intoxicants varying from alcohol and tobacco to heavy drugs.