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Baltic artists' painting exhibition

<I>Baltijas makslinieku gleznu izstade (Baltic artists' painting exhibition)</I>

The author of the 'Baltijas makslinieku gleznu izstade' ('Baltic artists' painting exhibition') is a Baltic-German artist Bernhard Borchert (1863-1945) who the greatest part of his life has spent in Latvia. He has worked in the field of painting and has produced book and magazine illustrations. At the beginning of the 20th century the territory of Latvia was a part of Russia's empire and by the Baltic region was understood Estonia, Vidzeme and Kurzeme provinces. Riga at this time was not only the economic and the industrial centre of these provinces, but also the cultural centre. This poster is devoted to a very significant event in its life of art. On 3 September, 1905 by opening the Baltic artists' painting exhibition the new City Art museum was opened. This was the first specially built building in Riga for the functions of a museum (architect Wilhelm Neumann). The architectonics and the interior of this building are very significant examples of the style characteristic for the beginning of the 20th century. At present the State Art Museum is situated there and it is the main depositary of Latvian art.

The poster is made in rather cold and reserved colours and in clearly separated colour planes. For the general public of the beginning of the 20th century B. Borchert has chosen easy understandable images - a teenager, laurel and generalized silhouettes of the national emblems. The boy symbolizes the new culture – in this case - the modern art, but the depiction of the three coats of arms on the laurel symbolize the art heritage of the three Baltic provinces. The subtle decorativeness of Art Nouveau in the poster as if merges with the spirit of mystery so characteristic to symbolism, and it is created by accentuation of the shadow of the teenager's figure. Another feature of Art Nouveau is the atectonic composition where the artist has successfully included the information on this event in 3 different languages. The poster represents the German school to which B. Borchert's talent has added the reservedness so characteristic to the mentality of Baltics.


Riga