Home
    Under Reconstruction!
Object Alone

Obj. ID: 22461
Jewish Architecture
  Painters’ (Malarske) Kloyz in Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania

© , Photographer: Unknown, Before 1941

A painters’ guild existed in 1840 and its kloyz was mentioned in 1862. It was situated in the premises donated by Yosef Karpinsky (d. 1882?). In 1916 the congregation numbered only 38 persons and the board of the kloyz complained a year later: “the worshippers of the kloyz are not here, some left [for Russia] and some died.” In 1933 the number of worshippers reached 50. The kloyz had a wide window and a lantern; its interior, according to Yaffe, was decorated with “beautiful” oil paintings “of Biblical motifs” made by the Jewish painter Zinnmann.

There was a women’s section, and the kloyz possessed also a room near the prayer hall which was let to the board of the Great Synagogue in the 1910s. Chaim Grade described the kloyz in The Agunah: “The walls of the prayer hall were decorated with murals based on Torah scenes: Noah’s Ark floating on the water; Abraham binding Isaac, Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt."

Avrom Karpinovich described the depiction of the Western Wall near the Torah ark in his story “Di gzeyre” (The punishment).

By 1942 the kloyz was “seriously damaged.”

(From Vladimir Levin, “Synagogues, Batei Midrash and Kloyzn in Vilnius,” in Synagogues in Lithuania. A Catalogue, ed. Aliza Cohen-Mushlin et al., vol. 2 (Vilnius: Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2012), p.  302.)

(Photo: The Painters’ Kloyz on the right and the communal lavatories on the left. Photo, before 1941. After Ran, Jerusalem of Lithuania, vol. 1, p. 105)

An Yiddish poet Leyzer Volf described the kloyz in his poem "Vilner shulhoyf" (published in the newspaper Vilner tog in 1928 and republished in Zalmen Szyk, 1000 yor vilne, Wilno, 1939, p. 168; as well as in Leyzer Volf, Shvartse perl, 13-15; Leyzer Volf, Lirik un satire,10-13; Leyzer Volf, Lider, 133-136):

אויף דארע טרעפ איז די מאליארסקי קלויז,

דא דאוונען די מאליארעס יום-טוב בלויז:

דא זיינען אנגעמאלט אויף אלע ווענט

די בילדער: ווי דער בית-המקדש ברענט,

ווי משה האלט אין האנט א געלן שעפס,

ווי לוט מיט נחס טעכטער מאכן שנעפס,

און ווי ס'וועט באחרית הימים זיין:

דער מענשט וועט גיין פון באד אין וואלד אריין,

א לייב וועט פלעכטן צעפעלעך ביים בערגל-באק,

א האן וועט לייגן אייער זיבן שאק,

א ציג וועט נעמען אלע מאל פאר שווער און שוויגער

אן אסתר-תענית-וואלף מיט א יום-כפור-טיגער.

אזוי וועט זיין, הראיה, אז מיין באבען רופט מען שמאיע,

אזוי מוז זיין, - האט אנגעזאגט דער נביא ר' ישעיה.

Translation by Justin Cammy (2019):

Up narrow steps is the Maliarske prayer house

Where artists gather only on festivals,

Where every wall is covered

with painted motifs: the Temple aflame,

Moses holding a yellow lamb in his arms,

Lot in revelry with Noah’s daughters.

And this is how it will be at the end of days:

Man will go forth from the bathhouse to the forest,

A lion will braid the mane on its cheeks,

A hen will lay four-hundred-and-twenty eggs

A goat will take as in-laws

A Fast-of-Esther wolf and a Day of Atonement tiger

This is how it will be, a vision as sure as my grandmother’s name is Shmaya. 

This is how it must be, the omen of our prophet Reb Isaiah.

We are grateful to Prof. Justin Cammy, Smith College, for sharing with us his translation and bibliographical information.

According to the memoirs of Kalman Marmor, the Painters' Kloyz had several wall paintings in the late 1880s: "One painting, 'On the Rivers of Babylon' took the entire western wall. There were depicted different musical instruments, on which Levites used to play in the Temple." (Marmor, Kalman. Mayn lebens-geshikhte. Vol. 1. New York: Yidisher Kultur Farband, 1959, p. 203. We are grateful to Ekaterina Oleshkevich for this reference). 

0 image(s)

This set has no children

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Painters’ (Malarske) Kloyz in Vilna (Vilnius) | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1862? 1930s (paintings)
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Brick
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
No
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Vladimir Levin, “Synagogues, Batei Midrash and Kloyzn in Vilnius,” in Synagogues in Lithuania. A Catalogue, ed. Aliza Cohen-Mushlin et al., vol. 2 (Vilnius: Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2012), p. 302.
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
Vladimir Levin | 2016
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconsdivuction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.