Romualdas Petrauskas, Conversion, 2015⁠

The title of this painting refers to the time of year when the harvest has ended, plants are dying off as winter frost sets in, and we have celebrations such as All Saints Day, Halloween, and Day of the Dead. It’s the time of year where life converts to death. In the painting a ghostly man with no legs represents this transition.⁠⠀
In ancient times, Lithuanians used to celebrate the festival of the white goat, where shepherds would take a goat to a birch tree and burn it there so as to invite winter and finish their seasonal work. Petrauskas explains that the fire symbolizes the eternal relation between the world of the living and that of the dead. In the painting the legendary Lithuanian priestess Vaidilute stands with her back to us viewers. She guarded the sacred fire of the pagan gods and does so here too, effectively blocking us out.⁠

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