Soviet sculptor Gediminas Jokubonis
Lithuanian Soviet sculptor Gediminas Jokubonis (1927 – 2006) – People’s Artist of the Lithuanian SSR (1977), People’s Artist of the USSR (1987), winner of the Lenin Prize (1963). Member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1965. Since 1946, he studied sculpture at the Kaunas Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts. In 1952 he graduated from Vilnius Art Institute of the Lithuanian SSR (now the Academy of Art). Since 1965 Jokubonis taught at the same institution; Professor (1974), Full member of the USSR Academy of Arts (1983). Creativity of Jokubonis is characterized by a tendency to generalized forms of concise, expressive silhouette, a compact composition. His sculpture “Mother of Pirciupiai” refers to the most famous of his works. The memorial ensemble in the village Pirciupiai, 45 km south-west of Vilnius, where German occupiers burned the village, together with its 119 inhabitants in 1944, during the Great Patriotic War. The monument was erected in 1960 and Jokubonis received the State Prize of the Lithuanian SSR, and Lenin Prize in 1963.
In 1960, a young Lithuanian sculptor Gediminas Jokubonis created a memorial on the site of the tragedy, which includes a granite statue of “Mother” and a free-standing, decorated with relief granite wall engraved with the names of the victims. The central monument is characterized with tense psychological image of the mother – full of anger and sorrow the old Lithuanian peasant, as well as severe forms of expressiveness, exactly found ratio of architectural and spatial solutions with the surrounding landscape. In 1963, sculptor G. Jokubonis was awarded Lenin Prize for the creation of the memorial.
Lithuanian Soviet sculptor Jokubonis is the author of sculptural monuments to Vladimir Lenin in Moscow (1967), Klaipeda (1976), and Panevezys (1983); a well-known opera singer Kipras Petrauskas in Vilnius at the Opera and Ballet Theatre (1974), the Lithuanian poet Maironis Kaunas (1977), Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz in Vilnius (1984), sculpture in the geographical center of Europe (in the Vilnius region, 26 km from Vilnius – a column of white granite, with the starry crown on top of it; 2004), as well as sculptural portraits, tombstones, medals.
On the 400th anniversary of Vilnius University (1979), Jokubonis created a high relief of Lithuanian historian Daukanto at the Museum of Science of the University, which is now in the church of St. John. By the 450 th anniversary of the release of “Catechism” by Martynas Mazvydas Jokubonis created a bronze statue of the Lithuanian first printer, opened on 9 January 1997 in the foyer of the second floor of the National Library of Lithuania.