Research exhibition and book on the treatment of history in 19th-century art

Art Museum of Estonia
Kadriorg Art Museum

Press Release No. 86
12 September 2013

A new exhibition by the Kadriorg Art Museum, When the Artist met Clio. Historical Scenes from the 19th Century, is the first display of historical pictures made and collected in Estonia and Latvia in the 19th century. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive visitors’ and education programme, and the book Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell’s Baltic History in Images, which gives an overview of the development of the local historical scenes and the background of contemporary approaches to history.

“The images depict historical events and places, heroes and role models. The exhibition brings together Bishop Albert of Riga and the chronicler Henry, Tartu aldermen and Master Plettenberg of the Livonian Order, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, the commanders Alexander the Great and Alexander Nevsky, Napoleon and Kutuzov, and many others,” remarks the curator Anu Allikvee, regarding the display.

The show focuses on four major topics at the centre of attention in the Baltic art and history scenes in the 19th century: the beginning of the “European history” of the land in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the religious convictions of the local people, the earlier history of Russia in connection with the Baltic countries, the wars against Napoleon, and the death and posthumous honouring of historical and national heroes. The fifth exhibition hall shows the ancient roots of the European view of history, its more recent developments, and enthusiasm over it in the 19th century.

“The 19th century was the century of history, when history became a distinct field of study, with a huge number of popular interpretations and links being made to nations and homelands. When visiting the exhibition, one should keep in mind that the paintings on display tell more about their creators and the way they and their contemporaries viewed history than about the events depicted,” points out the second curator, Tiina-Mall Kreem.

The accompanying book, Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell’s Baltic History in Images, includes an introduction on Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell (1795–1846), as one of the first scholars to deal with and record Baltic history, as well as the translation of his album Fifty Images from the History of Russia’s German Baltic Provinces, with commentary and pictures.

On Saturday, 14 September, there is a visitors’ day as part of the exhibition When the Artist met Clio. Historical Scenes from the 19th Century, which includes guided tours and lectures of the Saturday Academy.

The works at the exhibition are on loan from: the Estonian National Museum, National Library of Estonia, National History Museum of Latvia, Latvian National Museum of Art, Narva Museum, Pärnu Museum, Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, and University of Tartu Library.

Supporters: Merko, Cultural Endowment of Estonia and BLRT Group

The exhibition When the Artist met Clio. Historical Scenes from the 19th Century remains open at Kadriorg Art Museum until 9 March 2014.

Additional information:
Tiina-Mall Kreem
Curator of the exhibition
Tel.: +372 5683 0890

Anu Allikvee
Curator of the exhibition
Tel.: +372 606 6418