Jāzeps Grosvalds' book Scenes of Persia released

To coincide with the opening of the exhibition “I am now committed to living for art”. Jāzeps Grosvalds. 1891–1920 at the Latvian National Museum of Art, a visually lavish publication – artist Jāzeps Grosvalds' book Scenes of Persia – has been released in collaboration with the Neputns Publishing House and editor Laima Slava.

Scenes of Persia [Tableaux persans] is a text written by Jāzeps Grosvalds shortly after his return from the military expedition to the Middle East. The manuscript, although started in Latvian, was completed in French in Paris in 1919. It contains descriptions of the most vivid observations and experiences of the journey, which are accompanied by studies on history and artistic development of Persia.

The book has previously only been released once, in 1978 in Stockholm, in two languages – French and English. Now it includes text in four languages: the facsimile of the original manuscript in French and translations into Latvian, English and Swedish. The new publication has been expanded with rich visual material – more than 300 watercolours, sketches, documents, diary pages. It includes reproductions of almost all works from Jāzeps Grosvalds' Eastern cycle that are in the collections of the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) and Värmlands Museum (Karlstad, Sweden) as well as a large part of compositions form this cycle that are held in other collections.

An extended introduction is provided by art historian Ieva Kalnača, curator of the exhibition I am now committed to living for art”. Jāzeps Grosvalds. 1891–1920. The book was designed by artist Inese Hofmane. The publication uses an edited version of the Latvian translation made by Veronika Strēlerte for the 1978 publication.

In her introduction, director of the LNMA Māra Lāce acknowledges that the book is an opportunity to dive into a world created by a true talent and stresses that Scenes of Persia is a unique testimony to Grosvalds as an outstanding personality of this time: an artist who also had talent as a writer, one who combined the traits of a romantic, an intellectual and a person of action, and who could perceive and sense the feelings of the new, modern age of the 20th century, transforming it into vivid works of art, in which he expressed himself in a contemporary idiom.

The book is available in the shops of Neputns publishers and the museum as well as by filling the online form. A museum employee will get in touch after receiving your request.

About the edition

Persijas ainas / Tableaux Persans / Persiska Bilder / Scenes of Persia
A book in Latvian, English, Swedish and French, 352 pp.
Author: Jāzeps Grosvalds
Authors of introductions: Māra Lāce, Ieva Kalnača
Editor: Laima Slava
Translation from French: Veronika Strēlerte
Literary editor of the Latvian text: Cilda Redliha
Persian language consultant: Raimonds Ķirķis
Translation into Swedish: Linda Freimane
Proofreader of the Swedish text: Erik Bergqvist
Translation into English: Valdis Bērziņš
Proofreader of the English text: Iveta Boiko
Translation into French: Dita Podskočija
Proofreader of the French text: Isabelle Martin
Design, image editing: Inese Hofmane
Photographers: Jānis Rieksts, Normunds Brasliņš, Lars Sjöqvist

Publisher: Latvian National Museum of Art in collaboration with the Neputns Publishing House
Printed in Jelgavas tipogrāfija
Circulation: 1000 copies
Release year: 2023


Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia
State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia
Signet Bank
Värmlands Museum in Karlstad (Sweden)

Additional information

Ieva Kalnača
Head of the Project Management Department /
Latvian National Museum of Art