The oldest painting of the exhibition dates back to the 17th century, when there appeared the traits of the Baroque. In the Baroque age the significance of secular portrait increased. The main customers were the dukes, noblemen, clergymen and rich city dwellers of Courland. Only a few of the works have been preserved to modern days, evidencing the stocks of paintings in the ducal palaces and family portrait galleries in the manor interiors of Courland. In the exhibition there are exhibited several portraits of the 17th-18th century of the von Taube family portrait gallery of the Ērberģe Manor.
The boom of the Baroque age portraiture in the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia dates to the middle and the second half of the 18th century – the rule of the Dukes Ernst Johann von Biron and Peter von Biron, when there worked Leonhardt Schorer, Friedrich Hartman Barisien and Johann Gottlieb Becker. For example, there is the portrait in the exhibition of Katharina von Bismarch, the sister of the Duchess Benigna Gottlieb, drawn about 1751 by Leonhardt Schorer (1715-1777).
Artist Friedrich Hartman Barisien (1724-1796) in 1770 came to Courland in order to join the service of the Duke Peter von Biron and became the court artist. There is in the exhibition the portrait of the duchess of Courland Anna Charlotte Dorothea, wife of Peter von Biron, drawn in 1770. In 1793 Barisien drew the portrait of Peter von Gerschau (1779-1852), the illegitimate son of the Duke Ernst Johann von Biron.
In the middle and the second half of the 18th century in Courland there worked a painter from Königsberg, Johann Gottlieb Becker. There is in the exhibition the portrait of Gerhard von Nolde, the owner of the Lielgramzda manor and the sponsor of construction works of Gramzda Lutheran church, painted in 1743, which was initially the part of the interior of the church. An inscription on the pedestal, in the upper part of which the coat of arms of the family is depicted, tells about initiation of building of the church in 1740 and “successful and blessed completion in 1744”. The portrayed person is depicted in full height on a neutral background, facing the viewer, holding the design of the church; he looks serious and full of dignity, as if being aware of the significance of the moment in respect of the future generations.
There are in the exhibition also portraits of the 19th century, for example, Julius Doering (1818-1898) came to Courland in the middle of the 19th century and drew several portraits of von Hahn family – Johann Friedrich Wilhelm von Hahn (1792-1850) and his wife Adelheid Agnesa Maria von Hahn, born von Grotthuss (1797-1866). Von Hahn family owned several manor houses in the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia.
Examples of the civil community portraits of the 19th century are the portraits of Botschagow family – Rīga merchant Iwan Botschagow (1781-1836), his wife Elena Botschagow, born Kozlov (1783-1850) drawn by an unknown artist around 1820s, and their daughter Nadezda and her husband. After the death of her husband E. Botschagow owned the Factory of candles, soap and stearin and a firm Iwan Pankratjew Botschagow. Also portraits of Nazarow family – merchant Ivan Nazarov (1810-1879), his wife Nadezda Nazarov (1822-after 1880), born Botschagow, daughter of Iwan Botschagow, drawn by an unknown artist around 1840s, and their daughter Jelena Nazarov (1843-1863), drawn by Johann Lebrecht Eggink around 1860 are exhibited in the exhibition.
There is in the exhibition also the portrait of August Wilhelm Otto Leopold von Transehe-Roseneck (1806-1879), the owner of the house where the exposition and exhibition halls of the National History Museum of Latvia are located now, drawn by Latvian painter Jānis Staņislavs Roze (1823-1897) around 1882.
adults – 3.00 EUR
students, senior – 1,50 EUR
children – 0,75EUR
Family ticket (1-2 adults and 1-2 children) – 4.00 EUR
Latvian – 8.00 EUR
English and Russian – 15.00 EUR
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