P a l i u l y t ė
The article deals with the documents of artwork commissioning, mostly contracts, in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 18th century. The article aims at defining the intentions of commissioners and drawing a link between the attitudes conveyed in these documents and other texts, which revealed the perception of art within the period in question. The commissioning of religious images corresponded to the notion of image postulated in the religious discourse of post-Tridentine era, manifesting and establishing it through laconic, summarizing language of contracts. These documents once again support the conclusion drawn from the research of other resources: the highest value was set upon the iconographic aspect of an artwork. In most cases, namely a commissioner determined the subject and the motifs of work. The expression was generally seen as an artist’s competence; however, the commissioner often enough gave supplementary recommendations considering the form of artwork: well-proportioned composition was among the most repeated requirements, along with the request for life-like images and ornateness. Many notions circulating through the texts were influenced by the tradition of rhetoric, which highlighted the importance of affects in the work of art. Therefore, documents of commissioning demonstrate the visual aims of the society, which have not been taken into consideration to a sufficient extent in the Lithuanian historiography so far.