Exhibition “Lux Aeterna. Italian Art from Lithuanian and Estonian Collections” at Kadriorg Artmuseum.
Occurrences: 27.09.–15.03.2015.
Curators: Kerttu Männiste and Anu Allikvee.

17th–19th century Italian art, although not originating from eternity, but striving for it, what does it illuminate, displayed at Kadriorg Art Museum? It could be said that the art of these centuries in general. Italy in that period was the Mecca of art, shaping the rules and trends prevalent in great art. The works on the walls of the museum present art with a capital A. And considering their permanence in time, their journey from centuries ago into a Nordic palace in a small seaside city, the capital A must still exist.
The role of the author was not as important in the 17th–19th century as it is today and so we can shift from the author-centered position and look at the work itself. Although it is impossible to ignore the entire backstory the painting has managed to collect around it – the longer its existence, the bigger its story. All these paintings have a story of their time, depending on the year and the century. There is the plot – be it from ancient mythology or religious. Numerous facts, symbols, history etc as a background. But what else can the paintings tell us? They can talk about light and shadow. Dimness with weak light. The light in these paintings is like it tends to be in the Nordic Countries – dispersed, disappearing, partially illuminating, or to put it in other words, it is and it isn’t. The light that is there, however, is captured and stays firmly on the canvas. Eternal light, persistent and securely fixed.
Later leaving the museum, three briskly jogging young women appeared in the vague light of the street lamps. They looked different that the Three Graces on the walls of Kadriorg Palace; they were modern. They appeared only to disappear into the darkness. At the museum, paintings depicting the Three Graces and other characters from Greek mythology, also saints and Biblical events are there securely on the walls, illuminated by each other and the light in the exhibition space, they will not disappear into darkness, but are slowly glowing with centuries-old light.