Representation of Nature Spirits and Gods in Latvian Art in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Authors

  • Kristine Ogle Latvian Academy of Art

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v14i1.47

Keywords:

art, Dievturi, photography, Neo-Paganism

Abstract

Various examples of Latvian art reveal specific appearances of Neo-Pagan concepts. Early in the twentieth century, inspired by Neo-Romanticism, several Latvian intellectuals strove to revive the boundaries with nature. When trying to visualize these notions, artists often felt free to invent new deities, thus expressing their own subjective understanding and feelings instead of strictly following the ideas of ancient religion. The most prominent examples are works created by Janis Rozent?ls and Teodors ?ders. A second wave of such interest came during the 1920s and 1930s when, next to the ambitions of synchronizing with the Western culture or interest about the East, artists focused upon the national religion and actualized its values in the language of art. As a result, rather exotic and peculiar traits of Latvian artistic heritage were incorporated, including renditions of rendering ancient gods (like M?ra, Laima, Dievs, M?rti?š, ?si?š etc.). In an original way, accompanying the common people in their everyday works, they could appear in genre paintings (by J?kabs B?ne, Hilda V?ka, and other). Or they can be displayed singly (for instance, in paintings by Ansis C?rulis)— and in these cases the most intriguing is the choice of the artistic methods by which the viewer is being firmly assured that those beings, dressed in the national costumes, indeed do represent gods.

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Published

2013-06-18

How to Cite

Ogle, K. (2013). Representation of Nature Spirits and Gods in Latvian Art in the First Half of the Twentieth Century. Pomegranate, 14(1), 47–68. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v14i1.47

Issue

Section

Articles