Mykolas Giedraitis (1425-1485)

A contemporary of St Kazimieras, canon penitentiary Mykolas Giedraitis (circa 1425-1485), considered Blessed, is well-known in Lithuania. His cult is centred in Poland, canon penitentiary church of St Mark m Krakow, where the relics of the Servant of God are held. The ceremonies of the opening of the coffin and transfer of the relics in 1 625 gave the impulse for the spread of images and veneration of Mykolas Giedraitis. 1 he cult of the Servant of God is located in the territory of the noble Giedraičiai family. It evolved in regular canon penitentiary monasteries. The three bestknown paintings representing Mykolas Giedraitis are in Tverečius, Videniškiai and Giedraičiai churches. The tradition of his visual representation was determined by the development of the cult and by hagiographie texts. However, prototypes constituted the chief factor in evolvement of the image depicting a praying monk with the typical attributes. The painting of the parochial church of Giedraičiai, representing the noble Duke Mykolas, is a distinctive example. Surviving prints complement the Servant’s iconography. The means of portraying Mykolas Giedraitis, whose beatification was never announced, yet who is nevertheless considered Blessed, are plain and unpretentious, but still make a substantial contribution to the history of Lithuanian church art.

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