The leopard sauntering across this painting by Kęstutis Grigaliūnas, titled The Beast of Vilnius Cathedral, is a local creature. Like the Vilnius Basilisk, it is frightening and unpredictable, but at the same time familiar. It is as though the pattern of the cat’s coat and the pointillist pattern of the painting merge into one.
But how is this beast connected to the Cathedral? It was an iron wolf that told Grand Duke Gediminas to establish the city of Vilnius. On the other hand, architect Laurynas Gucevičius, who designed Vilnius Cathedral, was inspired by classical temples. And tropical animals certainly wandered between the columns of such temples. The leopard also symbolizes sensuality. He reminds us that holiness is impossible without sin.
The work’s technique also contains multiple meanings. The use of acrylic paint is reminiscent of the mass printings of Pop Art works. Except that the dots are not printed, but painstakingly painted by hand. In other words, appearances can deceive.