Stop 08

The King’s Daughter at the Well. | Karaļmeita pie akas.
Tempera, 18.75 in x 20 in (40.00 cm x 50.80 cm), c.1975.

Sometimes the scenic artist imagined stories and settings without the benefit of a script in hand. His original illustrations seemed to evoke untold tales or forgotten legends. He envisioned his worlds in highly theatrical terms. In The King’s Daughter at the Well, we might be viewing the opening scene of a play—one where we must invent the plot. The curtain rises on a view of an ancient Baltic town. The ladies of the court are washing the king’s daughter’s feet in preparation for a regal ceremony. The rooftops and the towering blue well are adorned with traditional Latvian decorative elements. The lofty turrets of the fortress in the background rise above the river valley to take us back to an undetermined earlier time and place ruled by Latvia’s tribal ancestors. The narrator begins to speak….