The voluminous, richly illustrated catalogue is part of the Latvian National Museum of Art project – the exhibition “The Portrait in Latvia 20th Century", which offers an encounter with a selection of the finest portraits from a whole century.
The wide-ranging exhibition and the catalogue accompanying it are a continuation of the research that was commenced with deep respect for the genre and its history by the director of the Rundāle Palace Museum, Imants LancmanisGinta Gerharde-Upeniece
This project, realised by the LNMA, is a continuation of the trilogy of exhibitions devoted to 17th–19th century portrait that was held at the Rundāle Palace and which opened at roughly 11-year intervals after long-term scientific research. The exhibition of 20th century portraiture corresponds to this pattern – it is being held after an interval of almost 11 years – and urges us to seek an answer to the question: how are the 20th century depictions of the human being in visual arts different to those which were created in the previous centuries?
The wide-ranging portrait gallery which symbolically begins with a self-portrait of Janis Rozentāls created around 1900 and ends with the work by Imants Lancmanis, "Self-Portrait by the Apple Wreath" (2011) is accompanied by Māris Bērziņš’s essay “Facial Expressions” dedicated to this exhibition.
The catalogue of the exhibition works is complemented by a series of analytical articles that provide a deeper insight into the thematic sections of the exhibition, portrait forms and periods of the creation of the works.