The Infant Christ Bearing the Instruments of the Passion in the Chapel of St Theresa’s Church in Vilnius




St Theresa’s Church in Vilnius, Infant Christ of the Passion, Infant Christ of Prague, Chapel of the Divine Providence, images of the Passion of Christ, painting of Our Lady of Good Counsel


The image of the Infant Jesus bearing the instruments of the Passion appears in the mural paintings of St Theresa’s Church in Vilnius. It is the so-called Infant Christ of the Passion – basically a symbolic, metaphorical motif connecting the realities of childhood and death. In the article, its iconographic genesis and the historical context of its appearance in the side Chapel of the Divine Providence (later, of Our Lady of Good Counsel) of St Theresa’s Church in Vilnius is discussed. The author attempts to reconstruct the meaning of this motif in a more general iconographic context of the furnishing and mural paintings of both chapels of the narthex. It is revealed that based on the altars of these chapels standing opposite each other, another axis of the church’s iconographic programme was formed – the series of the Passion of Christ, which was as if intersecting the axis of the visual narrative of the central nave running lengthwise. The author of the article tries to prove the supposition that the polychromy of the church from the second half of the 18th century was closely related to the iconography of the titular images of its altars.

Author Biography

Tojana Račiūnaitė, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania

is an art historian and theorist, Senior Researcher in the Art Theory Institute at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. Her research interests include: church art of the 17-18 centuries, application of the theoretical analysis of iconology and visual anthropology to art, culture and archival research. Račiūnaitė has published around 40 papers and a monographs Visions and Images: the Legacy of the Discalced Carmelites (2003), The Vitality of an Image: Experiencing the 17­18th Century Miraculous Portraits of Virgin Mary in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (2014), and The Virgin Mary of Lukiškės: A Study of the Portrait, the Book of Miracles, and Its Translation (2017). Račiūnaitė also co-edited and co-authored collective monographs.



How to Cite

Račiūnaitė, T. (2022). The Infant Christ Bearing the Instruments of the Passion in the Chapel of St Theresa’s Church in Vilnius. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (106), 138–175.