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Painted Decorations on Latvian Dowry Chests and Wardrobes: Late 18th – Early 20th Century

Painted Decorations on Latvian Dowry Chests and Wardrobes

In Latvian with English summary
Title in Latvian: Otētie motīvi uz Latvijas pūralādēm un pūra skapjiem: 18. gadsimta beigas – 20. gadsimta sākums

Inese Sirica

Copy editor: Ilze Antēna
Editorial advisors: Kristiāna Ābele, Silvija Grosa
Translator into English: Elīna Brasliņa
Editor of English: Iveta Boiko
Designer: Rauls Liepiņš (“Al secco”)

Riga: Art Academy of Latvia Institute of Art History; Art History Research Support Foundation, 2020. 303 pp., 133 images.

ISBN 9789934882432

Painted decorations on dowry furniture are little-known but essential part of Latvian folk art that encourages modern people to look at the imaginative thinking and aesthetics of 18th and 19th century Latvian peasants. Painted motifs include flowers, vases with flower bouquets, year numbers, personal names, birds, animals, a man and a woman as a couple, mermaids and religious symbols; the so-called geometric ornaments were used less frequently. Nowadays, not all of the motifs depicted can be discerned and explained, but their presence on the furniture associated with the most important celebration of a person’s life – marriage – points to the special significance of these motifs. The author of the book has classified and explained painted motifs, identified their makers, and described Latvian dowry chests and wardrobes, making use of the expedition materials obtained by researchers of previous generations, as well as dowry furniture held in museums.

The book is based on Inese Sirica’s dissertation defended at the Latvian Academy of Art in 2015 (academic advisor Prof. Dr. Silvija Grosa, reviewers Dr. Elita Grosmane, Prof. Dr. Jānis Kalnačs and Prof. Dr. habil. Janīna Kursīte-Pakule).

Dr. Inese Sirica (born Kundziņa) is assistant professor at the Art History Department of the Latvian Academy of Art. Born in Preiļi in 1987. Studied art history and theory at the Latvian Academy of Art. Received the doctoral studies scholarship of European Social Fund. Her publications include a. o. chapters on Latvian folk art in 1780–1890 for the Volume III of the “Art History of Latvia” (2019). Research interests encompass Latvia’s and European ethnography, crafts, ornament, ethnic identity in art, applied art and design.

English summary: Painted Decorations on Latvian Dowry Chests and Wardrobes: Late 18th – Early 20th Century. P. 271–303

Supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation and printed at Jelgavas tipogrāfija.

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© Art Academy of Latvia Institute of Art History 2022.
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