Thursday, December 6, 2012

Biblical Battle and Ancient Russia

Today’s artwork comes from the Latvian National Museum of Art located in Riga, Latvia.  The art gallery can be accessed here.  As always, I have added my own pictures to accompany the text below, they are not the pieces to be found at the museum.

1908-1911 painting “Kurbads the hero and the nine headed devil” – Kurbads is an old Latvian folklore hero/warrior and here he wields a club.

1935 painting “Memento From 1918” – This appears to be a painting addressing disfigurement in World War One.  Grisly and dark.

1837 painting “Moses, Aaron and Hur” – This scene is taken from the Book of Exodus where Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands during the Battle of Rephidim between the Israelites and Amalekites.  They held up his hands since the Israelites appeared to prevail when Moses’ hands were raised.  The Battle occurred during the Israelite exodus from Egypt.  The Amelkites were said to be the first of the nations to make war against Israel.  Joshua led the Israelites through the day until sunset, Moses keeping his hands raised the entire battle until won by Israel.   

Battle of Rephidim, 1728

Battle of Rephidim, 19th/20th Century
1917 painting “Refugees” – The painting represents a stark view of likely Latvian refugees displaced by World War One.

1932 painting “Madonna with a Machine Gun” which represents the premonition of war.

1882 painting “ Prince Vladimir chooses a religion in 988 (a religious dispute in the Russian court)”.  Prince Vladimir claimed to be descended from Vikings and used that to try to bring disparate kingdoms of Rus under him.  He tried to unite them with a Viking religion and finally with Christianity.  This painting shows idealized versions of a knight and warriors in the Russian court.

Feast of Vladimir the Red Sun, 1883

1927 illustration for the tale Niedrisu Vidvuds – This shows a Latvian folk hero or prince on horseback wielding a sword against a dragon.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. The artists have brought such a unique vision and feel to war over the centuries.