Rafal Slizienm6
Rapolas Slizienis (Rafał Slizień) (1804–1881), a sculptor and architect. “Księga pamiątkowa na uczczenie setnej rocznicy urodzin Adama Mickiewicza (1798−1898)”. T. 1−2. Warsaw.
The first from the Slizieniai family to live in the manor was Rapolas Slizienis (Rafał Slizień).
He was a famous artist. His sculptures and medals represented the Vilnius romanticism school.
Rapolas created many small size art pieces. He is well-known for his sculptural busts, for example, Adomas Mickevičius' bust, which he gave to the Vilnius Museum of Antiques. Rapolas created medallions and painted portraits of many of his contemporaries.
Rapolas Slizienis (Rafał Slizień). A medal for his parents’ golden anniversary. National Museum of Lithuania. Bronze.
Rapolas Slizienis (Rafał Slizień). Bishop Aleksandras Važinskis (Alex Wazyński). Lithuanian Art Museum. Medallion, bronze, relief, 128 in diameter.
Rapolas Slizienis (Rafał Slizień). Eustachijus Tiškevičius (Eustachy Tyszkiewicz). 1850. Lithuanian Art Museum. Medallion, bronze, relief, 125 in diameter.
Rapolas Slizienis (Rafał Slizień). Tomas Zanas (Tomasz Zan). 1854. Lithuanian Art Museum, medallion, plaster, 145 in diameter.

Rapolas Slizienis

The first Slizienis family member to live in Liubavas Manor was Rapolas Slizienis (Rafał Slizień, 1804-1881). In 1832 he married Kamila Tiškevičiūtė (Kamila Tyszkiewiczówna). He became famous as an artist and with his sculptures and medals represented the Vilnius school of romanticism.

Rapolas first studied at the Basilians Monastery in Volna, and later at the Jesuit College in Polotsk. Rapolas wanted to become a Jesuit, but his father would not allow this. He finished his studies in Polotsk and went to Vilnius to enter the department of Ethics (the Law Department) at the Vilnius University. He actively participated in the scholar's societies of Philomaths and Philarets. He studied local, Roman, Criminal and Canon law, World History, Statistics and Philosophy. In his free time he studied art with the famous Jonas Rustemas (Jan Rustem), where he learned how to draw, and paint portraits, create miniature art, as well as humorous caricatures.

Later he left for St. Petersburg, where he served as an official of the Ministry of the Interior for several years. He met various artists such as Aleksandras Orlovskis (Aleksander Orłowski), and Vincentas Smakauskas (Wincent Smokowski), who inspired him to create the medals. In St. Petersburg, he often met with Adomas Mickevičius (Adam Mickiewicz), and would exchange lively poems. He presented Mickevičius' beloved, Marija Šymanovska (Maria Szymanowska) with the medallion he created. Upon the request of his father, he returned to Lithuania in 1830.

After his wedding Rapolas lived the typical life of an estate owner, but never forgot the arts and travelled a lot. He was not only a very talented sculptor but an incredible architect too. He built moderate-sized manor homes and other buildings in the province and designed parks. "Even the planted trees were full of his poetry. Somewhere in the distance you see the opening of a picturesque scene - a church, a stream - he created beautiful landscape from almost nothing. Neighbours appreciated and valued Rapolas' great talent and taste and would consult him and always got his advice. A contemporary of the sculptor said that the county of Naugardukas has such beautiful homes and residences thanks only to Rapolas Slizienis." Rapolas especially loved Gothic style. He used to add towers to buildings, tall pointed-arched Gothic windows, and it is believed that he was the architect behind the re-built wooden chapel in Liubavas.

Rapolas created many small size art pieces and would often give them to friends. He is well-known for his sculptural busts, for example, Adomas Mickevičius' bust, which he gave to Vilnius' Antiques Museum. Rapolas created a medallion of Henrikas Ževuskis (Henryk Rzewuski), as well as medallions of Counts Eustachijus (Eustachy) and Konstantinas Tiškevičius (Konstanty Tyszkiewiczowie), Tomas Zanas (Tomasz Zan), Jonas Čečiotas (Jan Czeczot), Edvardas Odinecas (Edward Odyniec), and Mykolas Pijus Riomeris (Michał Pius Römer). He also painted portraits of Professor Adomavičius and that of many of his contemporaries.

Rapolas Slizienis was a popular and attractive person. His contemporaries remember his sense of humour, and his love of telling anecdotes. He was interested in just about everything, and was extremely perceptive. He died suddenly on May 20th, 1881, at his manor Liubavas, just before his golden wedding anniversary celebration.