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Bulgaria
The 18th century saw the beginning of the Bulgarian Revival, it was the time of the Tryavna art
school and the Bulgarian Renaissance. It was also the time of Ottoman regime during which the
crafts bloomed in the small Balkan cities. The abundance of wood and stone combined with the
traditions of the Trunovo art school led to a flourishing of arts and crafts. Distinctive work in this
period was created by the Vitan Masters, Papa Vitan the Elder and Papa Vitan Junior.
Descendants of the oldest and most famous of Bulgarian families of zografs/painters/and
carvers, the work of the Vitans is distinguishable by its professionalism, sense of colour and
harmony, human facial expressions and bright interest in the world around them.
The Baltic Regions
By the late 17th and early 18th century the Baltic countries felt the full effects of the Baroque
style. In Latvia the style was much lighter and restrained in character than in the rest of Europe.
Local artists began to be employed, especially in sculpture and woodwork, to fulfil the
commissions of the Church, the court of the Duchy as well as wealthy individuals. The centre of
this activity was Vilnius where numerous woodcarving workshops started up. By mid-century
the Rococo style appears in this decorative woodwork, especially in church interiors. One
example of this is in the workshop of sculptor Joseph Slawitzekare and his altar sculptures
found in the Piltene Church. In Lithuania the religious paintings of the Baroque met the rooted
tradtions of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The most famous Baroque church in Lithuania is St.
Peter and St. Paul's Church in Vilnius. In Estonia the Swedish nobility brought in the most
fashionable forms of the Baroque such as Palladianism, which consisted of building a city
palace down the whole length of the street. A far more common use of the Baroque was found
in refurbishing mediaeval houses with Baroque details and motifs. The grandest example of the
Baroque in Estonia is the Kadriorg Palace. Italian architect Niccolo Michetti was commissioned
to construct the palace for Peter the Great who wished to created ‘a window to Europe.’
The Czech Lands
By the 18th century the Czech arts witnessed the change from Baroque to Classicism and
Rococo. In architecture the Classicist style influenced building in the new district of Karlín, the
Smetana Embankment, and Slovanský dům (Slavic House) and swimming pool. The Nostic
Theatre (today known as Stavovské divadlo) provides the most important of Prague’s Classicist
buildings. Other buildings in the Classicist style appear in the large growth of public buildings
such as hospitals, schools and office buildings, which grew up to support the burgeoning
industrial society.
The most prominent painter of this period was Antonín Mánes (1784-1843) whose paintings
evolved from colourful landscapes of ancient temples, to depictions of romantic scenery and
realistic landscapes. Mánes was also the first artist to take inspiration from old Jewish cemetery
motifs. By the end of the century Czech nationalism began to creep throughout the country and
the National Revival group was founded in 1784.
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