About one forgotten diary – Ruta Janoniene


La Professoressa Ruta Janoniene e’ storico dell’arte, dottore in lettere, membro dell’Accademia delle scienze lituana, ricercatore capo dell’Istituto di storia dell’arte dell’Accademia delle Belle Arti di Vilnius.

Sapete che il nostro blog cerca di dare delle informazioni a largo raggio, nel senso che si occupa di tanti argomenti e che gli interessi culturali che esso manifesta riguardano non soltanto le nazioni di Polonia e Italia cosi come le percepiamo noi oggi, ma cerca di arrivare molto oltre, cioe’ in quegli spazi e popolazioni che pur appartenendo ad altre aree geografiche, per ragioni politiche e storiche hanno ereditato molto della cultura dei nostri paesi. E’ il caso della Lituani, che io, non di rado, menziono, in quanto ancora fortemente legata alla Polonia. E’ per questa ragione che anche oggi mi compiaccio e sono onorato di riportare l’artcolo della Professoressa Janoniene che grazie alle sue ricerche possiamo scoprire le curiosita’ di questo diario, scritto in lingua polacca e ritrovato negli archivi della Wroblewski Library.

Grazie Professoressa!

Rūta Janonienė
Authorship of the 19th century manuscript has been revealed
There is manuscript, now being saved in the chambers of The Wroblewski library of the
Lithuanian Academy of sciences, Manuscripts department, days ago belonged to the honourable
family of Platers . Basically it’s the diary, sewed together with the calendars from years 1800–1803, (1)
where depicted were daily routines, like the journeys from a manor to manor, meetings, some more
important events.
It’s written in Polish, in some very small hand print. Records are short-spoken but still reveal
quite various information about life in the manors of Lithuania and Livonia. Along with Vilnius
there’s a lot of places mentioned in the manuscript, as Riešė , Raudondvaris , Vyžuonos (pol. (2) (3)
Wizuny), Liksna , Dvietė , Alūkšta , Šlosbergas (ger. Schlosberg). (4) (5) (6)

All these calendars-diaries are sewed into the one book, at the forepage of that there’s inscribed
supposed author, Lithuanian vice-chancellor Kazimierz Konstantyn Plater (1746–1807).
Still, this authorisation is still doubtful as K. K. Plater is mentioned as the guest of the author of the
diary at some places (see pages 16v, 53, 78). Besides that it is well known that K. K. Plateris with
his family has visited Paris in year 1802, but that’s not mentioned nowhere in the diary (7).
So reading this diary carefully it was possible to reveal that the true author of the diary actually is
the General lieutenant of Lithuanian army, Jan Kazimierz Zyberk (Sieberg zu Wischling,
1742–1820). Alongside other significant facts and circumstances, to reveal the authorship
mentioning the places where the author used to live. In his words, when he went from home place,
as he named it, – manor of Dvietė dvaro to Lithuania, he used to stay at the small manor of
Raudondvaris just next to Vilnius. Dvietė, on the other hand, was one of the most important manors

of Zyberks at Selonia (now Latvia, Alūksta) in 18th century and that Riešė or Gulbinai
Raudondvaris Jan Kazimierz and Jadwiga Plater Zyberk have bought in the year 1798 (8)
Only after the death of J. K. Zyberk, when the widow went into the marriage with K. K. Plater’s son
Kazimierz (1780–1848), the property passed to the Platers. Later, in 1841 K. Plater sold
Raudondvaris manor to Stanislaw Jasinski.
J. K. Zyberk, son of the voivode of Livonia, baron Jozafat Zyberk (1684–1776) and Magdalena
Budberg (1712–1770), was born at 1742.02.03 in Alūkstė . 1775–1780 he used to serve as a
(9) standard-bearer for the voivodeship of Livonia , in 1792 became the general lieutenant of the (10) Grand Duchy of Lithuania, was awarded with the Order of the White Eagle. (11)
As mentioned before, J. K. Zyberk was married to Jadwiga Plater (circa 1780–1833), their
daughter, Anna Rozalia was born on 1793.08.02 in Dvietė and on the 1795.02.16 they received a
son Kazimierz who has passed away the same day, sadly (12).
Judging from appearances and entries in the diary, at the start of 19 th century J. K. Zyberk lived
quite an agile life, constantly moving between his estates, also visiting manors of his relatives quite
often. Most common were Riešė (Raudondvaris), Vyžuonos and Dvietė. And exactly at these
manors during the years 1800–1803 huge construction works were held, which seemed to be
focused on developing the economy and benefits from it. Even masters like the joiner Szymon
Dubczynski from Dvietė was sent to Raudondvaris . At Vyžuonos, at the time ruled also by (13)
Zyberks, the mill was being built (14).
When staying for a longer time at Raudondvaris, the noble visited neighbouring Kazimierz
Hornowski’s Riešė (or Hornowskies used to come to Raudondvaris for dinner)(15).
Journeys to Vilnius were held to meet the right people, visit mother, settle the legal affairs or just
buying goods. It’s interesting that building materials and other household goods were bought in

Riga (usually through mediators), to Riga were sent flax and grain, while in Vilnius visited were
bookstores, art houses, theaters and other cultural places. And especially from Vilnius art pieces
were being moved to the restored at the time or newly funded churches by Zyberks.
For example, in the summer of 1800’s Mr J. K. Zyberk has ordered a picture of “To your kindness
chamberlain” from the unknown artist and in addition has bought a small version of the picture for
24 rubles. And at the same time at the goldsmith named Jastrzębski he has ordered liturgical
wineglass devoted for the church or the chapel of Liksna (16)
He has paid sculptor Kulikowski for the job in Vilnius on 1800.09.29 . Also it might be that (17)
the same sculptor has created the sculpture of “Antakalnis’ Jesus” which was send together with the paintings to Vyžuonos, dedicated to the Liksna church (18)
Supposedly there from the sculpture had to been sent to the cemetery chapel in Munčiai, built by
Zyberks, in the altar of which was exhibited the sculpture of Antakalnis’ Jesus, according to the
General visitation . Also, in the spring of y. 1802 pictures for the church of Liksna were being (19)
painted by Franciszek Smuglewicz under the order of Zyberks (20)
When being in Raudondvaris, for the Sunday service usually they were going to the church of
Riešė, where a bunch of intellectuals used to gather (not to say neighbours Hornowskies, mentioned are priest Mickiewicz, Regnier, Kożuchowski, architect Szulc).
But the diary also gives us a lot of mentions about visiting churches in Vilnius (especially the
chapel at the Gate of Dawns), keeping company with bishops, canons of the Cathedral, custodes of
the Bernardines convent, professor of the University of Vilnius, (names like bishops Wolczacki,
Pilchowski, professors Leyboszyc, Briotte, Spitznagel, Lobenwein, Becu, Poczobutt).
On the 1801.09.01 with a company he went to visit the „see the abandoned Verkiai“ . One of most (21) important thing described is the election of the sibling of authors, Cecilia Aniela Zyberk

(1737–1819), benedictine nun, as an abbot of monastery in Vilnius in 1802.01.06, her consecration
ceremony and the feast after that (22)
And also the grand ceremony of first brick laid in the foundation of St Trinity’s church in Šventė,
also funded by Zyberks, which was held 1802.06.08 (23)
What we know from the diary is that as an attorney of J. K. Zyberk’s for a years worked
Michal Kamieński, who took care over the various economy fields at Riešė ir Raudondvaris,
including construction . M. Kamienski was married to the eldest daughter of architect Laurynas (24)
Gucevičius – Filomena (married in Riešė 1806.12.23) . 1807 the couple have moved to Zyberk’s
(25) manor at Didžioji Riešė, here at 1807.10.11 their son Edward was born, survived just only three months, sadly . 1809.04.04. Then already at Zyberks Riešė Kamienski and his wife gave a birth to (26) their daughter Emilia , and 1810.09.07. – to son Henryk (27) (28)
I think that the material from J. K. Zyberk’s diaries could be interesting from different points of
view and would add value and some interesting aspects exploring and revealing the history of
cultural life in the 19th century.

  1. Map of area of Riešė (fragment), 1925, National library of Warsaw.
  2. The old alley at Riešės Raudondvaris, photo courtesy of Rūta Janonienė.


1 Notaki w rodzaju dzienika w kalendarzach na lata 1800–1803, The Wroblewski library of the Lithuanian academy of sciences, later WLLAC RS, f. 9, b. 68-71.

2 In the diary often is mentioned Didžioji Riešė (pol. Wielka Rzesza), which belonged to Zyberk, and also Jėzuitų
Riešė (pol. Jezuicka Rzesza), belonged to Horowskies.
3 Also known as Riešės Raudondvaris or Gulbinų Raudondvaris (pol. Rzesza Czerwony Dwor, Gulbiny Czerwony Dwor)

4 Liksna (ger. Lixna) was purchased in the 18th century by Jozafat Zyberk (1684–1776), who was married to Magdalena Budbergaitė (1712–1770)

5 alias – Dweta (ger. Dweeten) – a manor in Latvia nowadays.

6 alias – Ilūkste (ger. Illuxt)

7 Szymon Konarski, Platerowie: http://www.stowbial.pl/pk/plater.pdf, p. 54

8 Indrė Kačinskaitė, The Raudondvaris Manor at Lake Raudonasis Dvaras: Reflections of the 400-Year-Long Historical
Development, in: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, 2020, t. 97, p . 195.

9 Lithuanian State Historical Archives (LSHA), f. 604-11-28, l. 483

10 Urzędnicy inflanccy XVI-XVIII wieku: spisy. Oprac. Krzysztof Mikulski i Andrzej Rachuba. Kórnik 1994, p. 119, 288.

11 Kawalerowie i statuty Orderu Orła Białego 1705–2008, Warszawa: ARX REGIA. Ośrodek Wydawniczy Zamku Królewskiego, 2008, p. 263.

12 LSHA, f. 604-11-28, l. 271, 273.

13 ibid, l. 34.

14 ibid, l. 14.

15 Kazimierz Hornowski (1756–1818), butler from Anykščiai, former manager of the the domain of bishop J. I.
Massalski, and married to the widow of architect Laurynas Gucevičius (pol. Gucewicz) našlę Teofila.

16 WLLAC RS, f. 9, b. 68-71, l. 16.

17 Most likely sculptor Jozef Kulikowski is being mentioned in the end of 18th century participating in the creation of
decor of stucco for Cathedral of Vilnius, see: Dictionary of Lithuanian artists, t. 2, Vilnius: LKTI, 2012, p. 220.

18 WLLAC RS, f. 9, b. 68-71, l. 18.

19 LSHA, f, 669, ap. 2, b. 320, l. 99v.

20 WLLAC RS, f. 9, b. 68-71, l. 49, 50. At the church of Liksna hanged the paintings of Smuglewicz “Betrophal of
Blessed Virgin Mary“, and the chapel of Liksna manor, “Resurrection of Christ”, painted by him too, as well as that in
the church of Alūkšta – „Dispersion of the Apostles“ (Vladas Drėma, Pranciškus Smuglevičius, Vilnius, 1974, p. 380, ).

21 ibid, l. 38. At the end of March 1802 he bought a mahony billiard table from Verkiai manor, so it’s possible that the
painting of St. Raphael, which was bought at the same time, belonged to their collections too (ibid p. 51).


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