Rīga, the capital of Latvia, is an Art Nouveau city. The city centre contains the finest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in the world: more than one third of all buildings there is of Art Nouveau style. It is an urban ensemble, inscribed on the World Heritage List. The early 20th century was the “golden age” for the development of the city. It became one of the major centres of industry, trade and culture on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The population approximately doubled over the course of 15 years, surpassing 500,000 on the eve of World War I.

The first Art Nouveau buildings in Rīga appeared as early as 1899. Already after 1904 Eclecticism disappeared from Rīga’s construction activity, being completely replaced by Art Nouveau.

This new style there was inspired by German, Austrian and Finnish architecture, but rooted mainly in local cultural traditions. Primarily local architects were employed, most of them having been graduated from the Architectural Department (established 1869) of the Rīga Polytechnical Institute.

In wide diversity of formal trends of Art Nouveau of Rīga rather restrained, structural sense of architectural idiom prevail, although extraordinary lavishly decorated buildings are presented as well. The most characteristic are so called Perpendicular Art Nouveau and National Romanticism. The latter reflected the search for the Latvian national identity in architecture. Art Nouveau in Rīga was highly professional and versatile phenomena, where all visual arts were melded into one.

Image artist function date
Konstantins Peksens architect 1859-1928
Eizens Laube architect 1880-1967
Aleksandrs Vanags architect 1873-1919
Janis Alksnis architect 1869-1939
Ernests Pole architect 1872-1914
Mikhail Eisenstein architect 1867-1921
Wilhelm Bockslaff architect 1858-1945
Paul Mandelstamm architect 1872-1940ies
Heinrich Scheel architect 1829-1909
Gustavs Skilters sculptor 1874-1954
Julijs Madernieks applied arts, graphics 1870-1955
Janis Rozentals painter 1866-1916
Janis Valters painter 1869-1932
Rudolfs Perle painter 1875-1917
Peteris Krastins painter 1882-1942
Cover Author Description date Link
Jānis Krastiņš Rīga : Pa Rīgas jūgendstila pēdām. Rīga: on the tracks of Art Nouveau in Rīga

Bruxelles, CIVA ISBN: 2-9600298-9-5.
2003
Jānis Krastiņš Rīga. Jugendstilmetropole - art nouveau metropolis - jugendstila metropole

[S.I.], SIA ISBN: 9984-9178-1-9.
1998

Partner:
Rīgas pašvaldības kultūras iestāžu apvienība – Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council
Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 5
LV – 1010 Riga
Latvia
Phone: +371 67037775, +371 67181183
Fax: +371 67181810
E-mail: apvieniba@riga.lvjugendstils@riga.lv

Links

Rīga: Art Nouveau Heritage Photo-collection
Rīga: Cultural Capital of Europe 2001

Network News Rīga Poster Exhibition Riga

From 21 June, 2019, the exhibition “Art Nouveau in Riga. A Decade of the Collection” welcomes visitors at the art gallery “Riga Art Space”. The exhibition introduces the collection the museum has created over a decade through very accurate and purposeful work. Museum “Riga Art Nouveau Centre” is the only museum in Latvia that preserves and promotes the cultural and historic heritage of Art Nouveau.

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Network News Rīga Poster of the exhibition "Art Nouveau moods in porcelain" ©Riga Art Nouveau Center

Antoņina Paškēviča says that she has always been interested in the image of a woman in art and that Art Nouveau provides a rich inspiration for the artist’s imagination. The images of nature, nature and woman in porcelain dishes and small plastic vividly show the artist’s style, interest in history and mythology.

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