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Exhibition „Frustra vivit, qui nemini prodest” („He lives in vain who does no good to others”)


Exhibition devoted to commemorate 400th birth anniversary of Casimir Leo Sapieha, eminent statesman and culture Maecenas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Exhibition is opened in P. Smuglevičius Hall at Vilnius University Library up to 10 May 2010

Casimir Leo Sapieha (1609–1656) – a son of Leo Sapieha and Elžbieta Radvilaitė, as well as many other members of this notable family, left a distinct trace in political and cultural life of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: In 1631 C.L. Sapieha was appointed the great scribe [notarius magnus] of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 1637 – the Marshall of GDL court, in 1645 – the vice-chancellor of the GDL. In 1666 an exquisite family collection bequeathed by C.L. Sapieha in 1655 was delivered to Vilnius University Library (about 3000 books) and named asBibliotheca Sapiehana. A quantity of books from this collection is presented in this exhibition.

Its first part runs through the life of Casimir Leo Sapieha: handbooks that he had studied, European towns he had visited, books from his personal collection donated in 1645 to professors of Vilnius University Faculty of Law.

In the second part only a small part of the notable Sapieha family library may be seen. These are exquisite books bound in parchment or leather on different subjects – history, religion, military and artillery art, natural sciences, geography, literature, rhetoric – with spectacular copper engraving illustrations, showing Brazilian landscape of that time, customs of American indigenes, e.g., cannibalism, scenes of different battles that took place in Europe, genealogical tree of Polish royal family. All exhibits at the exhibition are original prints of XVI–XVII c.

It is a unique possibility to get acquainted with the cultural heritage of one of the most outstanding noble families of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of XVII c.

Prepared by Aušra Rinkūnaitė

Lantz, J. Institutionum arithmeticarum libri quatuor ... – Coloniae Agrippinae [Köln], 1621.
A book by Jesuit mathematician Johann Lantz (1564–1638) Four books on Arithmetic science, including theoretical material about rational and irrational numbers, different mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), fractions, arithmetic and geometric progressions, roots and degrees. After each part of theoretical material many interesting exercises are given. The book ends with astronomic calculations.

Kröl, G. G. Tractatus geometricus & fortificationis ... – Arnheim, 1618.
Treatise on geometry and fortification (in 3 parts) by German topographer Georg Gunther Kröl von Bemberg (XVII c.) The first part includes geometry, and abounds with mathematical calculations and geometric drawings, the second part is about usage of geometric devices and planimetric measurements, the third relates to architecture, fortress building and is intended for engineers and construction workers.

Cats, J. Proteus ofte Minne-Beelden verandert in sinne-beelden. – Rotterdam, 1627. 
A book of emblems by Dutch poet, lawyer and politician Jacob Cats (1577–1660) Proteus, or love images expressed in symbols was illustrated by the artist Adriaen van de Venne (1589–1662). In the first half of XVI c. tripartite emblems became rather popular in book graphics: they consisted of a symbolic image, inscription (pithy saying describing graphic image) and an epigram.