Baltic Oaks - 16th and 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Painting in the Collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art

Salomon van Ruysdael (ca. 1600–1670). River Landscape. 1642. Collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art. Publicity photo
Salomon van Ruysdael (ca. 1600–1670). River Landscape. 1642. Collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art. Publicity photo

The exhibition Baltic Oaks. 16th and 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Painting in the Collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art dedicated to Latvia’s Centenary will be on view at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE in Riga (Doma laukums 6) from 25 August to 30 November 2018.

The project that includes an exhibition, a scientific conference and scientific publications of several fields is a collaboration of Art Museum RIGA BOURSE (AMRB), the University of Latvia and Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava, which is being developed in cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Latvia and the Netherlands Institute of Art History RKD (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie) in the Hague.

The exhibition is a story about the nautical relations with the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, or – more precisely – the oaks that were shipped from the harbors of Riga, Ventspils and Liepāja. Timber of excellent quality was brought to the Netherlands from the Baltic region and used to create the wooden panels that later became the foundation for paintings by old masters. Nowadays, after many centuries, their value reaches millions. At last, the research methods as well as modern technologies of the 21st century allow us to confirm what was previously just an anticipation – numerous paintings on Baltic oak can be found at the depositories of great European museums.

Exhibition visitors will have a chance to get acquainted with the Art Museum’s RIGA BOURSE Dutch and Flemish 16th–17th century painting collection and the results of its scientific research. The oak has been analyzed with two methods. Firstly, counting growth rings with the help of dendrochronology and, secondly analyzing the DNA of Baltic oaks.

At the same time the exhibition is the result of many years of cooperation of AMRB, Dutch and Flemish art curator’s council CODART and the Netherlands Institute of Art History, that will conclude with the scientific catalogue, in which, also showing the sometimes lengthy and complicated discussion process in the attribution of various works, the most valuable part of the collection will be published.

The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE holds the collection of Dutch and Flemish art which is largest in the Baltics, including well-known artists of their time such as Bartholomeus Spranger (1546–1611), Pieter Pietersz Aertsen (1540–1603), Joos de Momper II (1564–1635), Daniël Seghers (1590–1661), Esaias van de Velde (1587–1630), Antoon van Dyck (1599–1641), Christoffel Jacobsz van der Laemen (ca. 1606–1652), Quirigh Geritsz van Brekelenkamp (ca. 1620–1668), Salomon van Ruysdael (ca. 1600–1670), Jan Porcellis (ca. 1584–1632), Melchior d’Hondecoeter (ca. 1636–1695), Jacob van Loo (1614–1670), Pieter de Molijn (1595–1661), and Adriaen van de Venne (1589–1662).

The collection formed during the period from the second half of the 18th century to the end of the 19th century, as various private bequests or gifts for the Riga City or the Courland Province Museum. The most famous of the collections have belonged to Nikolaus von Himsel (1725–1764), Reinhold Philipp Schilling (1819–1888), Carl Christoph Gross (1790–1873), August Heinrich Hollander, Friedrich Wilhelm Brederlo (1779–1862), Ludwig Wilhelm Kerkovius (1831–1904), Domenico de Robiani (1795–1889), Paul von Transehe-Roseneck (1853–1928), and other creators of Riga’s cultural life of their own time.

Parallel to the Baltic Oaks, an exhibition The Golden Age of Etching will be on view at the Bosse Hall of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE from 3 August to 30 November, showing the 17th century Dutch etchings from the Foreign Graphic Art Collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art. Visitors will be able to see the works of such prominent masters as Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669), Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1685), Claes (Nicolaes) Berchem (1621(22)–1683), and Paulus Potter (1625–1654) among others.

The project is part of the Latvia’s Centenary programme.

EXHIBITION ORGANIZERS:

EXHIBITION SUPPORTERS and COOPERATION PARTNERS:

PROJECT LEADER and EXHIBITION CURATOR:
Daiga Upeniece
, Head of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Latvian National Museum of Art
Ph: (+371) 67 228776, E: Daiga.Upeniece@lnmm.lv

RESEARCH:
Daiga Upeniece
, Head of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Latvian National Museum of Art
Ksenija Rudzīte, Curator of the Foreign Painting Collection of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Latvian National Museum of Art
Ph: (+371) 67 357532, E: Ksenija.Rudzite@lnmm.lv

CONSERVATION:
Nataliya Kurganova, Kaspars Burvis

DENDROCHRONOLOGY:
Dr. biol. Māris Zunde, Head of the Dendrochronological Laboratory of the Institute of Latvian History / University of Latvia

OAK DNA RESEARCH:
Dr. biol. Dainis Edgars Ruņģis and the working group at the Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava

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Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Doma laukums 6, Riga, Latvia

OPENING HOURS:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays 10.00–18.00, ticket office 10.00–17.45
Fridays 10.00–20.00, ticket office 10.00–19.45
Closed on Mondays

The museum is closed on all public holidays: 1 January, Good Friday, Easter, Midsummer Eve and Day (23–24 June), Christmas (25–26 December), 31 December.

ADMISSION:
Reduced individual admission fee for groups of 10 or more people.
Free admission for the person in charge of the group.
Adults: 3,50 EUR
Schoolchildren, students, seniors: 2,00 EUR
Family ticket (1–2 adults with 1–4 children or family having many children): 5,00–7,00 EUR
Free admission for LNMA Annual ticket holders.

Free entry is also for: pre-school children; orphans or children not under parental care (valid status identification card required); children with a disability up to 18 years, 1st and 2nd group disabled persons (valid status identification card required) and one person accompanying either a child with a disability up to 18 years or a 1st or 2nd group disabled person; pupils of Latvian art schools or professional secondary art schools (valid status identification card required); full-time students of the Art Academy of Latvia (valid status identification card required); students attending institutions of professional secondary education or colleges who are studying or receiving training in visual or applied art, design, cultural history, museology, architecture, restoration as part of their studies or training (on submission of a written application to the museum director at least one day earlier); employees of Latvian museums (valid status identification card required); members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM, valid status membership card required); members of the Latvian Artists’ Union (valid status identification card required); Friend of the LNMA card holders; media representatives who are covering museum events (valid status identification card required); group (no less than 10 persons) leaders – guides or teachers; everyone on the international event Museum Night from 19.00; all visitors to the permanent display on the last Sunday of every month and on International Museum Day – 18th May.

Press release prepared by:
Natalie Suyunshalieva
Head of Press
The Latvian National Museum of Art
Ph: (+371) 67 357527
F: (+371) 67 357520
E: pr.service@lnmm.lv
I: www.lnmm.lv 
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