Despite coming from a peasant family, architect Laurynas Gucevičius received an extensive education. He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Paris for one-and-a-half years, then went to Rome and spent four years abroad before returning to Lithuania. He has left a vivid legacy of Lithuanian Classical architecture.
The architect designed structures like the Verkiai Ensemble, Vilnius Town Hall, Vilnius Cathedral, the Jonava Church Complex, the Vilnius Palace of Representative, Sudervė Church and more.
Gucevičius' most mature project was the reconstruction of Vilnius Cathedral in 1782-1790. The cathedral is recognised as a masterpiece and the best example of Lithuanian Classicism, a unique and original contribution to world architecture. The King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Stanislovas Augustas Potianovskis awarded the architect with the Merentibus gold medal in recognition of his work on this project.
The architect died quite young following a serious illness and in 1984, a monument in his honour was built on the triangular site (S. Daukanto Square, Old Town eldership) in Vilnius, opposite the St. Church of the Cross (Bonifrats). The gypsum sculpture is the work of sculptor Vladas Vildžiūnas, and architects Rimantas Dičius and Aleksandras Lukšas designed the site.
The absence of portrait material made it difficult to create the sculpture. The creator’s personal, multi-plan vision was based on a small gypsum bust of L. Gucevičius discovered by V. Budreika.