Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Art of the Baltic States

Catalogue for the exhibition “Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Art of the Baltic States” at the Latvian National Museum of Art.

The exhibition was first on display at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (2018) - a joint project by the three Baltic States to mark their centenary, and one of the largest events representing Latvia abroad. This exhibition invited the French public and many thousands of tourists from around the world to discover Symbolism in Baltic art of the 1890s to the 1930s.

The introductory part of the catalogue contains articles by several authors on the historical context of the Baltic States, national art schools, as well as the history of this ambitious project. The authors: Pauls Daija, Leading researcher, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia, Osvaldas Daugelis (1955–2020), Director (until 2019), M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece, Head of the Latvian Visual Arts Department, Latvian National Museum of Art, Dace Lamberga, Exhibition curator, Latvian National Museum of Art, Liis Pählapuu, Exhibition curator, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn (until 2018), Rodolphe Rapetti, Curator, director, National museums and palaces of Compiègne and Blérancourt.

The largest part of the catalogue consists of the images of art works that were exhibited in the exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and are now on view in Riga. The exhibition is organized into three thematic sections – "Myths and Legends", "Soul" and "Nature" which is reflected also in the catalogue. Comprehensive information on each work of art is provided by art scholars from the three Baltic States. The exhibition as well as the catalogue provide an opportunity for the people of Latvia to get acquainted with the Estonian and Lithuanian visual art heritage, to compare and appreciate it.

The catalogue is supplemented with the artists' biographies, chronology, bibliography and index of persons.