Baltic Journal of Art History http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah <p>THE BALTIC JOURNAL OF ART HISTORY is a publication of the Department of Art History of&nbsp;the Institute of History and Archaeology of the University of Tartu.<br><br>The concept of the journal is to publish high-quality academic articles on art history of a monographic character or in shorter form. These articles are focused on new and interesting problems and artefacts that can help broaden the communication and interpretation horizons of art history in the Baltic Sea region and Europe. The journal has an international editorial board and each submitted manuscript will be reviewed by two anonymous reviewers. The board will pass the decision on publishing the article on the basis of a short summary as well as the full text and reviewers’ opinions.</p> <p>The languages of the journal are English and German, but next to them also Italian and French.</p> en-US kadri.asmer@ut.ee (Kadri Asmer) kadri.asmer@ut.ee (Kadri Asmer) Thu, 02 Sep 2021 08:46:05 +0300 OJS 3.1.2.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 The Magus of the North: Johann Georg Hamann’s Treatment of the Artistic Genius http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.01 <p>In the 18th century, questions abound on the new branch of science<br>that is the discipline of aesthetics. In connection with this, first in<br>France and England, then also in the German sphere of thought,<br>artistic genius as the producer of an aesthetically valued artwork<br>becomes an object of interest. The term ‘genius’ enters German<br>vernacular in the middle of the 18th century, when the scholar<br>and philosopher Johann Georg Hamann commences his life work.<br>Interpretations of the works of Hamann, an influential irrationalist<br>or anti-rationalist of the Enlightenment era, are topical even today.<br>At the time, the Enlightenment-inspired, nascent German genius<br>theory is greatly influenced by the French tradition. However,<br>Hamann becomes a radical changer of the concept of genius. During<br>his sojourn in London (1757–1758), Hamann undergoes a religious<br>conversion, which subsequently becomes a catalyst for his entire<br>works and philosophy. Influenced by the British empiricist genius<br>tradition, from his first writings (Socratic Memorabilia and Aesthetics<br>in a Nutshell), Hamann enters into dispute with the spirit of the<br>Enlightenment that dominates German aesthetics, represented by<br>Gottsched, Mendelssohn, Lessing, etc., remaining in opposition<br>throughout his creative career. In his innovative literary works, rich<br>in metaphors, he proposes his own holistic idea of genius, which<br>centres around an artistic genius with a God-given talent, whose<br>creativity is directly connected to his faith in God and the perfect<br>nature he created. Hamann’s poetic artist, who creates his works<br>through divine sensation, is not limited by a single rule or law, nor<br>is he bound by the taste preferences of his audience. Hamann does<br>not see artistic creation as a pleasurable artefact which enhances<br>nature by rational rules, which has to adhere to the limits of good<br>taste – that view was prevalent and dominant at the time, especially<br>in the French and German Enlightenment ideology. He highlights<br>the idea of art as a metaphysical creative process which stems from<br>feelings and sensations through faith, which has a deep spiritual meaning. Hamann’s works, in which he addresses the questions of<br>art and genius, are not dry postulations, but the author’s original<br>visions of ingenious creation, which stand out by their intriguing<br>innovative structure, and often by ironic and humorous undertones.<br>Hamann’s concept of the artistic genius is one of the cornerstones<br>of German early romanticism, it has influenced numerous authors<br>in the 19th century and extended into the 20th century through<br>existentialist literature. Hamann’s vision of genius does not have<br>equivalents in the list of genius treatments, it is unique in both content<br>and form. Hamann’s ideas of genius will remain topical in every era<br>when subjective views of art are in focus, which stem from the inner<br>creative freedom of the artist, a creative who crosses boundaries and<br>ignores conventions, whose aspiration is guided by something that<br>cannot be subjected to ordinary explanations. The time has arrived<br>on the spiral of history today when the phenomenon of the artist is<br>yet again at the centre of discussions, and there is no reason to doubt<br>that artistic genius will continue revealing itself in times to come.</p> Holger Rajavee Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu and the authors http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.01 Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 Architecture and Icon: the Origin of the Stepped Gables in the Icon ‘The Vision of the Sexton Tarasiy of Khutyn’ http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.02 <p>The article invites to look afresh at the late 16th century Novgorod icon<br>‘The Vision of the Sexton Tarasiy of Khutyn`’ and the Faceted Palace,<br>built in 1433 by German craftsmen. The stepped gables of the building,<br>located west of St Sophia Cathedral in the icon, were interpreted as<br>realistic image of the upper parts of the Faceted Palace that have<br>not survived. However, the iconographic analysis of more than a<br>hundred of the Russian icons and illuminated manuscripts dating<br>back to the second half of the 16th – early 17th centuries proved that<br>the stepped gable was a decorative architectural motive, widespread<br>since the 1560s–1570s. The authors classified the images of buildings<br>with stepped gable in the late medieval Russian art, and determined<br>their possible sources among the Northern European prints of the<br>15th – 16th centuries. The comprehensive study ascertained that the<br>building in the icon ‘The Vision of the Sexton Tarasiy’ can’t be used for<br>reconstruction of the Faceted Palace. Since 1560s–1570s the schematic<br>representation of the city in Russian art often placed buildings with<br>the stepped gables (initially acquired from the European prints)<br>next to the churches. Panorama of Novgorod in the Khutyn` icon<br>followed this pattern and combined fantastic forms with rather<br>realistic depiction of the church edifices.</p> Ilya Antipov, Alexandra Trushnikova, Maksim Kostyria Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu and the authors http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.02 Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 Colour in Church Interiors, Medieval and Beyond http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.03 <p>Recent studies of churches of medieval origin in Estonia have shown<br>that these edifices have long histories of polychrome decoration<br>both before and after the Reformation. In this article, some aspects<br>of these colour schemes are discussed. Firstly, the question of the<br>decoration and redecoration of interiors during the Middle Ages is<br>addressed, secondly the authorship and technique of vernacularlooking<br>murals is discussed, and thirdly the geographical spread<br>of these decorations is analysed. In addition, post-medieval murals<br>are also examined.<br>This article is based on fieldwork in Estonian medieval churches<br>conducted over a period of fifteen years by the staff and students<br>of the Department of Conservation and Cultural Heritage at the<br>Estonian Academy of Arts. Here mainly the results of work in the<br>churches at Koeru, Keila and Järva-Jaani is presented. Some other<br>churches are also discussed for comparison.<br>So far, medieval painted decoration has been found in around<br>25 church interiors on the territory of present-day Estonia, i.e. in<br>roughly a quarter of the medieval churches. Although the number<br>is not large, the finds allow us to draw some conclusions regarding<br>the spread of and networks behind these paintings.<br>We can claim that as elsewhere in medieval (northern) Europe,<br>medieval church interiors included at least some kind of painted<br>decoration. It seems likely that the first (and possibly in many cases<br>the only) colour scheme was provided by the builders. Especially<br>in rural parishes, where no specialised guilds existed, it might<br>have been difficult to employ professional painters, although not<br>impossible. Almost certainly the decoration was applied at the time<br>of plastering, when the mortar had not yet set and the scaffolding<br>was still available.<br>Historical records, surviving artworks and investigated interiors<br>demonstrate that after the Reformation the Lutherans were less radical in transforming churches than were other Protestants: several<br>Catholic altar retables and statues were preserved, side altars were<br>not removed, etc. The churches were usually decorated with new,<br>more modern murals and only whitewashed in many cases several<br>centuries later.<br>Gradually, church interiors became more monochrome, although<br>not necessarily white, something that has been associated with the<br>spread of Pietistic ideas in the Lutheran church. However, the late 19th<br>century brought a revival of colour to at least some churches. These<br>colourful, mainly Gothic revival interiors survived for only a short<br>time and disappeared again when they were painted over everywhere.<br>For example, in St Lawrence’s in Kuusalu, wall paintings dating from<br>the period of the Gothic revival renovation of the medieval church<br>(1899) were found and uncovered in 2021.</p> Anneli Randla, Hilkka Hiiop Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu and the authors http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.03 Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 A Door in Use in Tallinn Appeared to Be Over 600 Years Old http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.04 <p>In a medieval tower in the Tallinn Old Town wall there is a wooden<br>internal door that was suspected of being rather old. The age of the<br>door was determined using dendrochronology. It was possible to<br>measure tree rings from the lower ends of the oak planks of the door.<br>Matching the ring-width series with oak references from northern<br>Europe revealed that the door was over 600 years old, and still in<br>place in medieval Bremen Tower in Tallinn, Estonia. The ring-width<br>series of the door was most similar to oak chronology from the<br>Daugava River. However, this does not mean that the door timbers<br>originate from that region. At present, we do not possess Estonian<br>oak chronologies extending back to that time. Thus, the provenance<br>of the oak for this door remains undecided. The dendrochronological<br>date of the door, AD 1394–1411, can be confirmed and can be narrowed<br>by documentary evidence to AD 1400–1410.</p> Alar Läänelaid, Aoife Daly, Tomasz Ważny, Kristof Haneca, Andres Uueni, Kristina Sohar Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu and the authors http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.04 Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 The Ethics of Conserving Modern Art http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.05 <p>The article discusses the relevance of an ethical approach to the<br>conservation and restoration of works of contemporary and conceptual<br>art. The way in which restoration has developed over the last 50 years<br>has made a huge contribution to the history of art. The origins of this<br>new field of restoration – the restoration of contemporary art – have<br>been analysed in the study. Based on the experiences and examples<br>considered in the article, final conclusions are made and proposals<br>given regarding contemporary art restoration in Ukraine.</p> Daria Yankovska, Nadiia Chirkova Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu and the authors http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.05 Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 Tension. Expressionist Artistic Style in Stage Design and Original Artworks of the First Half of the 20th Century http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.06 <p>Despite turning professional in the first decade of the 20th century,<br>the material and practical capabilities of Estonian theatres initially<br>remained modest. This hindered the development of stage design<br>– a field dependent on the creative ideas of artists as well as on<br>technical resources. The stage designs that used stock scenery, were<br>stylistically uneven and often not suitable for a play’s material,<br>received criticism from viewers-critics who were familiar with the<br>modern developments in European and Russian theatre, especially<br>from the members of the group Young Estonia.<br>While Estonian artists were already familiar with the avantgarde<br>trends in the European, and specifically German cultural<br>life prior to WWI, in Estonian theatres expressionism appeared<br>in the 1920s, both in terms of ideas, ideals and stylistic methods.<br>Larger theatres were able to refresh their theatrical language with<br>the expressionist, stylised acting methods and new visual and<br>scenographical solutions. The stage designer for Estonia Theatre’s<br>innovative productions was Peet Aren, who had already established<br>himself as an expressionist artist by the 1920s. On the stage, he also<br>realised his unique artistic style: by luxated perspectives, deformed<br>shapes, excessive colourfulness and playfulness.<br>The ideological plane of expressionism was central in Morning<br>Theatre (Hommikteater), active in Tallinn in 1921–1924. Morning<br>Theatre’s troupe of amateurs under the direction of the visionary<br>August Bachmann brought out three plays which were expressionist<br>in their message and style. Although in theatre history the stage<br>designs of Morning Theatre have been associated with Peet Aren,<br>the study of original sketches in the archive of the Estonian Theatre<br>and Music Museum confirms that the author of Morning Theatre’s<br>stage designs was artist Aleksander Möldroo, a representative of<br>the more powerful and robust style of expressionism. With Morning<br>Theatre’s laconic, stylised scenography, Estonian stage design made<br>an important developmental leap from commonplace stage design<br>towards a theatrically conditional and artistic stage décor.</p> Kerttu Männiste Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu and the authors http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.06 Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 ‘Indifferent Things?’ Reflections on Reformation and Art in the Baltic Region http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.07 <p>This chapter presents reflections on issues raised by<em> Indifferent</em><br><em>Things? Objects and Images in Post-Reformation Churches in the Baltic</em><br><em>Sea Region</em>. It discusses the recent historiography of interpretative<br>approaches, periodisation, the canon, iconoclasm, theories of<br>response, comparative contexts, and issues of aesthetics.</p> Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu and the authors http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/bjah/article/view/BJAH.2021.21.07 Fri, 20 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300