Birutė Žilytė‘s work is known for its stylish decoration, unique interpretations of folk art forms, and a worldview shaped by her childhood experiences of nature, stories and legends. Much like in the work of Petras Repšys, Žilytė combines nature, people and the mythological world into one continuous state of being, revealing the strengths and weakness of each element.
The linocut work Eglė. Foam of Blood was created for a poem and tale by Salomėja Nėris about Eglė, Queen of the Serpents – a central theme in Žilytė‘s work that she has constantly revisited. In choosing to portray the tale‘s tragic ending, Žilytė displays the unbroken human spirit and a woman‘s strength. In this illustration, the natural world and its raging elements are juxtaposed against frozen human figures. Here, Eglė is an elderly woman with the bleeding heart of the Mother of God, while the broken body of the serpent above her, much like the words “foam of blood“ inscribed into the base of the pedestal, symbolize a bleak and inescapable fate.