Water Carrier Statue

Romualdas Kvintas


The Lithuanian sculptor Romualdas Kvintas (1953-2018) is known for many works, e.g. statues commemorating  Vytautas Kernagis in Nida, the writer Romain Gary, the physician Dr. C. Shabad, the singer D. Donskis and the linguist J. Jablonskis. In the autumn of 2015, a sculpture by Kvintas dedicated to Hermann Kalenbach and Mahatma Gandhi was erected in the town of Rusne; in the fall of 2017 this was followed by his statue of the church reformer Martin Luther in Vilnius. In the fall of 2019, a year after the sculptor’s death, a sculpture for the singer, poet and artist Leonard Cohen was unveiled.

The sculptures of Romuald Kvintas are characterized by a special feeling of coziness, of perfection, sensitivity, and have a characteristic shape. Important people are presented as normal people, and the sculptures have a real-life size. A direct eye-to-eye communication between the sculpture and the viewer is probably one of the most significant features of Romualdas Kvintas’ oeuvre.

Water carrier

You are a dark amulet set in Lithuania.
Old grey writing – mossy, peeling.
Each stone a book; parchment every wall.
Pages turn, secretly open in the night,
As, on the old synagogue, a frozen water carrier,
Small beard tilted, stands counting the stars.
From the poem “Vilnius” by Moshe Kulbak (1923)

Monument to idealism

The work of the water carrier in Vilnius was important, even though those who were engaged belonged to the poorest inhabitants of the city. The subject of the statue symbolizes idealism, which was abundant even in the most difficult times. The first model of the Water Carrier was created by Romualdas Kvintas in 2010. Today we have an almost complete casting in bronze.
The projected place of the sculpture, selected in collaboration with Vilnius city municipality, is on the banks of the Vilnele river in the city. We invite everyone who is interested in the history of Vilnius city to contribute to realization of this meaningful project.

The Andrei Sakharov Research Center contributes to the development of a pluralist and democratic society in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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