Riga, Latvia- the week in review | Riga visit

October 19, 2017

We are hours away from leaving.  There is a special city filled with a special people, who threw off the yoke of Soviet rule, after having been invaded by the Nazis then crushed by the Soviet system, with just 20 years of freedom between the wars.  Before that it was the Russia Empire.  No wonder they worry about Putin, and made nervous by Trump.  The Baltic countries are small, on their own unable to fend off a nation as large and well armed as Putin’s Russia.  We need to have their back.

Their separation from the Soviet Union is chronicled in the Museum of the Popular Front, in what was its headquarters on Vespilcetas iela 13/15, a building worth visiting on its own merits.   With the loosening of controls under Gorbachev, the Front

  • elected pro-independence delegates to the Soviet assembly
  • got recognition of the illegitimacy of the Soviet/Nazi pact of 1941
  • organized protests including the unbroken human chain that extended from the far end of Lithuania all the way to the coast at Tallin, Estonia,  a total of 600 km /375 miles
  • organized barricades in the event of a crackdown after the one in Lithuania.

It is not just this heroic moment that endears me to this city, country, people.  It’s the art, it’s the way they have all acquired a second language, these days mostly English by choice (German and Russian are also officially taught), not the edict of a foreign power.  

 

Madonna of Marijas Street,
Karlis Padegs

Johan Valters, Market in Jelgava, detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also the architecture, especially the Art Nouveau for which the city is famous:

Spiral Staircase. Museum of Art Nouveau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like the fashion

I like the styles- not everyone is so gray!

 

 

Model display creations of Latvian fashion designer Agnese Narnicka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The food is less doughy than St Petersburg and much less expensive than Stockholm!

Gray Peas- or what’s left of them. Bit of bacon fat with that?

The most fabulous potato pancakes ever! They were fried in bacon, so no wonder.  I will need a new liver by the time I get out of Latvia, though. 

 

And the people are more open, friendly than in St Petersburg.

With the guard at the Art Nouveau Museum. They all dressed in period

More Latvia posts to come, and I hope to return, in the better weather.   

 

Corner in Riga — watercolor | water color painting

One of many charming spots in Riga

 

 

Riga Corner, water color and ink , on acrylic paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, 8.3 x 11.7″

Redhead with Friends, watercolor painting

Redhead with Friends

Redhead with Friends

Redhead with Friends, watercolor and ink on acrylic paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, 8.3 x 11.7″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animations of paintings hanging in the Errata Museum (Contemporary Art, St Petersburg Russia) | Errata Museum

These are fun and creative animations of paintings hanging in the Errata Museum (Contemporary Art, St Petersburg Russia) which we visited recently.  You see about several paintings.  The second is an installation, not an animation.    Enjoy!!

 

 

Young Chechen Man

In the streets of St Petersburg you see people from all over Russia.

Young Chechnyan Man

Young Chechen Man, acrylics on acrylic paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, 8.3

 

 

 

 

 

Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, postcard acrylic painting | Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood,

 

 

Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood

Post card in acrylics, Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg Russia

 

Portrait of Young Siberian Woman | Portrait of Young Siberian Woman

Some of the people from the far north are ghost like as they roam the streets of St Petersburg.  This young woman is from Siberia. 

 

Young Siberian Woman

Young Siberian Woman

Young Siberian Woman, on acrylic paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, 8.3 x 11.7″

Portrait of Vladimir Vladimirovich Kara-Murza, Russian journalist | portrait of Vladimir Vladimirovich Kara-Murza

Twice poisoned journalist and opposition leader Vladimir Vladimirovich Kara-Murza.  Story below.

Vladimir Kara-Murza

Vladimir Kara-Murza activist journalist poisoned, acrylics on acrylic paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, 8.3″ x 11.7″

 

Vladimir Kara-Murza detail

Vladimir Kara-Murza detail

Vladimir Kara-Murza

Vladimir Kara-Murza

Vladimir Kara-Murza

Vladimir Kara-Murza

 

 

He is a well known opposition activist who has faced life threatening conditions twice over the past several years resulting from apparent attempts to assassinate him by poisoning.  Close friend Boris Nemtsov, also an opposition leader, was shot and killed near the Kremlin in 2015.

 

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called on the Trump administration and new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to “make Kara-Murza’s cause America’s cause,” to question Russian authorities on the incident and to “ultimately hold Putin accountable if he was targeted by the regime.”   Trump has announced any action and given his unwilling to criticize Putin for anything at all he probably won’t do anything in response.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/02/03/russian-activist-felled-2015-suspected-poisoning-hospitalized-similar-symptoms/97437612/

Portrait of Russian Man with Hat | Russian Man portrait

 

 

Russian Man

Russian Man, acrylics on acrylic paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, 8.3″ x 11.7″

Russian Man detail

Russian Man detail

 

Portrait of Eastern Russian Woman | Portrait of Eastern Russian Woman

 

 

Eastern Russian Woman

Eastern Russian Woman, acrylics on acrylic paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, 8.3″ x 11.7″