Portraits by Italy’s historic masters on show at Bourse

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Treasures of portraiture art from the museums of Bologna are on display for the first week since opening at the Riga Bourse National Museum of Art Gallery, representing some of the best groundbreaking Italian painting from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

The masterpieces depicting their subjects with almost photographic skillfulness as well as sensitivity for the underlying psychological character arrived February 6 as part of Latvia’s culture program for its Presidency of the Council of the EU.

They will be on display until April 19.

They tell the story of the time of revolutionary artistic innovation leading up to the Duke of Courland’s famed friendship with the city of Bologna during his 1785 tour of Europe.

Through portrait painting, this exhibition demonstrates the special and innovative character of this art. The core of the show is formed by works from the collection of the Bologna Pinacoteca together with paintings from museums in other cities. The portrait genre allows us to trace the development of skilfulness in painting in the great diversity of styles that appear in future generations of artists.

Characteristic of every successive generation of Bolognese artists is the high quality of technique that developed alongside an individual painting style and a completely original stylistic as well as the ability to depict the inner world of the subject with subtlety.

In every painting on show, it is possible to see those quality values that reach beyond time and which are also a precondition for the development of romantic culture and modern art in the future. At the same time, every portrait is an outstanding artistic success and an unusual depiction of the personality using every subject’s individuality and the historical context.

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