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Baroque Pearl — Rundāle Palace and Garden Festival

23.05.2017

Improved, enriched and unique — this is how one can describe the artwork collection in Rundāle Palace.

Significant changes in the exhibitions of the museum await the visitors of Rundāle Palace. The main exhibition has been supplemented with many excellent artefacts recently added to the property of the museum, for example, paintings, furniture, household objects.

Four reconstructed exhibition rooms have been added. Two of these rooms decorated in the Empire and early Victorian styles enrich the decorative arts exhibition “From the Gothic Style to Art Nouveau”, and two other rooms — “Hunting Room” and “Duke’s Bathroom” — will supplement the basic interior exhibition in the private chambers of the Duke in the southern part of the palace.

The staff of the Museum of Rundāle Palace can be proud of the decorative arts exhibition “From the Gothic Style to Art Nouveau” which provides a full insight into the development of European decorative arts from the 15th century.

Many beautiful exhibits, which can be viewed here up close, are really unique because they are the only representatives of a certain item group in Latvia. There are also such exhibits that show the excellence of the ancient Latvian masters. The complete exhibition “From the Gothic Style to Art Nouveau” is planned to be opened in 2018, when the last two rooms will be set up.

The exhibition “Duke’s Bathroom”, in which the hygiene items of the 18th century and the efforts of that time for cleanliness are displayed, is located at the anteroom of the former wash room of the Duke. “A great museum-rarity are two household objects that were once providing the heat of the room and the bath water — portable ceramic furnace and copper heater, which was filled with incandescent coal and immersed in the bath before bathing,” the Director of the Museum Imants Lancmanis reveals.

An experimental version of the “Hunting Room” was set up already last year in the private chambers of the Duke to reflect the passion for hunting of the owners of the palace — the Duke Ernst Johann von Biron and Peter von Biron.

Now the room is complete and supplemented with luxurious paintings on a hunting theme by outstanding artists, hunting trophies from the 17th and 18th centuries, hunting weapons and goblets. A unique silver goblet, which Ernst Johann acquired as a present from the King of Poland August II, will be exhibited for another year.

The hunting theme will dominate also in the halls of the palace — the exhibition “Hunting from the Artists Point of View” and the exhibition of hunting trophies.

The traditional Garden Festival will take place at Rundāle Palace on 1 July and hunting will be the main theme of this Festival as well. Traditional activities — celebration plays, concerts, fairs, workshops, orienteering games — will be supplemented with events linked with the mentioned theme, for example, a parade of hunting dog breeds, demonstrations of hunting dog skills, etc.

The programme of the Festival will be entertaining not only adults, but also children.

The wonderful French-style garden will be in full bloom and its traditional glory as it has always been. The maze with 20 metres in diameter, which was finished last year, will be also available for visits.