CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Archive of Lines. Drawings and Watercolors in the NLL Graphic Art Collection

Exhibition: 18 September - 30 December 2020

From 18 September, an exhibition Archive of Lines. Drawings and Watercolours in the NLL Graphic Art Collection (Līniju arhīvs. Zīmējums un akvarelis Latvijas Nacionālās bibliotēkas krājumā) will be staged in Level 4 gallery of the National Library of Latvia (NLL). The exhibition continues the series of exhibitions dedicated to graphic art techniques, this time presenting 15-20th century drawings and watercolours by foreign artists. The works have been selected from the 850-item collection of Western European drawings, which is part of the NLL’s collection of foreign graphic art and represents the bestowment the Library received from German art historian and collector Peter Böttger. The exhibition is open until 30 December. Entrance is free.

57 works by German, Dutch, Italian, French and other national school artists have been selected for the exhibition, providing insight into the watercolour and various drawing spheres – from studies and sketches of passing moments to completed standalone works. The works exhibited confirm that these initial imprints of artists’ ideas and impressions, where they have perceived the essence, have great authenticity.

Anonymous, Windmill in a Dutch Landscape, 17th century
National Library of Latvia, Riga

Artists such as Andrea del Sarto (1486–1530), Daniele da Volterra (1509–1566), Frederik de Moucheron (1634–1686), Franz Kobel (1749–1822), Jan Matejko (1838–1893), Adolph von Menzel (1815–1905) have been selected for the exhibition. Twelve works by Hans von Marées (1837-1887) are a particular treasure in the collection. One example featured in the exhibition is a preliminary drawing for a series of frescoes at the Naples Zoological Station (1873-1874).

The work Italian Landscape by French artist Gaspard Dughet (1635–1675) can be seen to be the impetus for the creation of the works Points in Motion I and Points in Motion II by artist Maija Kurševa. In the works she has created especially for the exhibition, the graphic means of expression possessed by drawing – line, stroke, points – serve as instruments of artistic reflection, through which to direct self-knowledge.

Maija Kurševa writes: “When drawing a line, the point at which the pencil touches the paper is the present point. The dimension of time is only seen by the artist. The viewer does not experience the event, but perceives the fact. The pencil at the beginning of the line – the moment it touches the page, at the end – when it is removed from the page. The stroke, with its marked starting and ending points, creates a situation in which movement has been frozen, the simultaneous development of numerous events. One can think about drawing. Drawing can be a thought process.”

Exhibition curator – Dmitrijs Zinovjevs
Designer – Anete Krūmiņa
Project manager – Kristīne Liniņa