Latvijas Banka issues a collector coin "Janis Rozentāls"
On Wednesday, 23 November, Latvijas Banka is issuing a 5 euro silver collector coin "Janis Rozentāls". This unique silver collector coin featuring the popular painting "The Princess and the Monkey" in colour is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the prominent Latvian painter Janis Rozentāls (1866–1916).
The graphic design of the collector coin has been created by Sandra Krastiņa but the plaster model of its obverse – by Jānis Strupulis. Sandra Krastiņa is also the author of the graphic design of the collector coin "The White Book", but Jānis Strupulis has created the graphic design of the gold and silver coins "Gaff-sail Schooner "Julia Maria"" as well as plaster models of several dozens of Latvijas Banka's collector and circulation coins.
The coin "Janis Rozentāls" has been minted by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands). The obverse of the coin depicts the space imitating the back of the painting divided into four fields and bears a facsimile signature of Janis Rozentāls and the seal of the Latvian National Museum of Art. The reverse shows a reproduction of Janis Rozentāls picture "The Princess and the Monkey" (1913). In the painting, a lavishly dressed young woman and a monkey hanging on to her string of beads are outlined on an ornamental background.
Janis Rozentāls became the most versatile artist of the turn of the 20th century, a popular and skilful portrait painter, a modern and enthusiastic proponent of the new aesthetic principles, whose creative activities influenced the development of painting, graphic and book art, theory and criticism of art. The 150th anniversary of the outstanding artist, which has been entered into the UNESCO calendar of anniversaries, is widely celebrated this year by organising a number of events. The silver collector coin of a special design, shape and size is Latvijas Banka's homage to this significant anniversary.
The collector coin "Janis Rozentāls" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of such coins in circulation is highly unlikely, as they are in fact works of art and are in special demand among coin collectors and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is 7 000.
The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices is 130.00 euro. Beginning with 23 November, the coin will be on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja); today from 11.00 it can also be reserved via the new collector coin and other numismatic product online reservation service under the Banknotes and Coins Section (https://rezervetmonetu.bank.lv) of Latvijas Banka's website www.bank.lv. This system provides the most important advantage for customers, i.e. they have an opportunity to purchase new collector coins and various numismatic products offered by Latvijas Banka in a convenient way in their own time without queueing. It is most likely to suit the needs of customers, e.g. from regions, who are busy on the initial days of launching a new coin or due to other reasons cannot visit the Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka.
Face value: 5 euro
Weight: 62.00 g; shape: rectangle; measurements: 80.00 mm × 38.00 mm
Metal: silver of .925 fineness, quality: proof; colour-printed reverse
Struck in 2016 by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands)
Artists: Sandra Krastiņa (graphic design) and Jānis Strupulis (plaster model of the obverse)
The space imitating the back of the painting is divided into four fields. The top left bears a facsimile signature of Janis Rozentāls, with the inscription "The Princess and the Monkey", measurements "147,5 × 71" and the year 1913 beneath it in an enclosed field; the words "canvas, oil" are placed to the right. The two lower fields carry a vertical inscription "5 euro" (on the left) and the seal of the Latvian National Museum of Art (centred and on the right) bearing the inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA and the year 2016.
The reverse shows a reproduction of Janis Rozentāls painting "The Princess and the Monkey" (1913). In the painting, a lavishly dressed young woman and a monkey hanging on to her string of beads are outlined on an ornamental background.
The 150th anniversary of the outstanding Latvian painter Janis Rozentāls (1866–1916) has been entered into the UNESCO calendar of anniversaries, for this son of a Saldus blacksmith was one of the most important shapers of national art who modernised Baltic art, and earned recognition in Europe and prominence in local social life. As a striking symbol of national self-confidence of Latvian artists, his realistic diploma work "After Church" (1894, the Latvian National Museum of Art) upon graduating from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts has been included in the Latvian Cultural Canon. The painting features the flow of Saldus churchgoers, with the possibilities offered by photography used in the artist's search for the right composition.
Janis Rozentāls became the most versatile artist of the turn of the 20th century, a popular and skilful portrait painter, a modern and enthusiastic proponent of the new aesthetic principles, whose creative activities influenced the development of painting, graphic and book art, theory and criticism of art. Constantly changing and perfecting his approach, he transformed the elements of impressionism, symbolism, art nouveau, national romanticism, etc. into genre paintings, landscapes, and compositions of religious, symbolic and fantastic character. Janis Rozentāls met his ideal woman, partner and model in the Finnish singer Elli Forssell (1871–1943), through her approaching the Finnish cultural milieu.
The largest version of the painting "The Princess and the Monkey" (1913), along with about 150 other paintings and over 100 graphic works by Janis Rozentāls forming a part of the collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art, is one of his most popular works and most eloquent testimonies to the synthesis of symbolism and art nouveau in the history of Latvian art. In 1913, "The Princess and the Monkey" was first exhibited at the Third Exhibition of the Baltic Artists Union at the Riga City Art Museum and after that at an international art exhibition in Munich's Glaspalast. The right to reproduce the painting was purchased by the German publisher Velhagen & Klasing. The artist painted the composition several times, varying the size and details, but the first sketch was done in coal and pencil.
The symbolic message of the painting "The Princess and the Monkey" can be translated in a variety of ways. The stylised, vertical painting features a lissom, lavishly dressed and decorated young woman with a little monkey hanging on to her string of beads. Among the possible models for the red-haired princess, both the Latvian actress Marija Leiko (1887–1938) and Finnish dancer Maggie Gripenberg (1881–1976) have been mentioned. Yet it is more likely that it was Gotho von Seck (1891–?), whom Janis Rozentāls had noticed at a carnival of the Kunstecke Society, who posed for the painting. Contemporaries perceived "The Princess and the Monkey" as an allegory for an artist's dependence on society or art, which like a dominating mistress is playing with her servant.