On Wednesday, 25 May, Latvijas Banka is issuing a silver collector coin "Vilhelms Purvītis".
Vilhelms Purvītis (1872–1945) ranks among the most remarkable painters representing the period from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, and he was among the most prominent founders of the Latvian National Museum of Art and the Art Academy of Latvia.
Vilhelms Purvītis can also be considered a diplomat of Latvian art: his name already crossed Latvia's borders during his lifetime, his works were collected and awarded prizes at foreign exhibitions, and he himself was active in organising Latvian art exhibitions in European cities.
The collector coin will be available for purchase only on the website e-monetas.lv from 12.00 (noon) on 25 May. Mail delivery or personal pickup from Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices at K.Valdemāra iela 1B, Riga will be possible. To smooth out the customer flow on the premises, each customer will be notified of the date when the order becomes available for pickup from Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices in the order confirmation. Orders will be available for pickup in a period of 20 business days starting from the date indicated in the order confirmation. There can be no changing of the starting date for the pickup period.
The collector coin has been issued in exceptional time – it is this year that Latvia celebrates the artist's 150th birthday by organising a range of events. To mark the occasion, the Latvian National Museum of Art is also launching an exhibition entitled "PURVĪTIS" on 28 May.
The author of the graphic design of the coin "Vilhelms Purvītis" is Frančeska Kirke. The coin created by the artist interprets elements of the painting "Winter" by Vilhelms Purvītis: the lacy majestic birch trees, glittering water of the unfrozen lake and overcast winter sky. She transfers these elements to the silver coin in an elegant manner, using frosting, texture and mirror surface of varying intensity.
Starting from 12.00 (noon) on 25 May, the new coin will be on sale online via www.e-monetas.lv, Latvijas Banka's website for purchasing numismatic products. The price of the coin is 65.00 euro; the purchase limit for one buyer – 2 coins. The mintage of the coin is 4000. The coin has been struck by Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania).
The circulation coin set "Financial Literacy" in Brilliant Uncirculated quality will also be issued simultaneously on the same day. The set contains the euro circulation coins issued in 2022 whose nominal value ranges between 1 cent and 2 euro, including the new 2 euro commemorative coin "Financial Literacy", which was issued in April and available in gift packaging and rolls. The price of the circulation coin set is 25.00 euro, and the purchase limit for one buyer – 4 sets (total mintage 7000 sets).
The collector coin "Vilhelms Purvītis" and the coins included in the circulation coin set "Financial Literacy" are legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of such coins in circulation is highly unlikely, as collector coins are in fact works of art and are in high demand among coin collectors and other interested parties.
Face value: 5 euro
Weight: 31.47 g
Diameter – 38.61 mm
Metal: silver of .925 fineness
Quality: proof; colour print on the obverse
Graphic design: Frančeska Kirke
Struck in 2022 by Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania)
Reproduction of the painting "Winter" by Vilhelms Purvītis, using colour print
The plaster model of the painting "Winter" by Vilhelms Purvītis with several grade frosting. The inscriptions 5 EURO and VILHELMS PURVĪTIS are semi-circled to the left along the upper edge of the obverse.
The edge bears the inscriptions LATVIJAS BANKA and LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA, separated by rhombic dots.
The founder and moderniser of national landscape painting, Vilhelms Purvītis (1872–1945), is one of the key figures in Latvian visual art of the first half of the 20th century. At the turn of the century, this accomplished painter of spring landscapes was noticed in St. Petersburg, Paris and other European art centres. The representative of Baltic modern art was involved as equal in the transformations of the genre of landscape, achieving success both in Latvia and abroad.
In Latvian art history, the name of this European Latvian classic has become one of the symbols of national identity. As poetic archetypes, his images and moods retain their presence in our sense of the landscapes that surround us. The painter's vision of nature and his classically composed Latvian landscapes in changing seasons are considered to be the canon of national landscape.
Purvītis deserves particular recognition as an implementer of the idea of higher artistic education and one of the architects of the cultural policy in Latvia, as the first rector of the Art Academy of Latvia and head of the Landscape Painting Master Class, director of the prestigious Riga City Art Museum (now Latvian National Museum of Art), creator of the national art collection and organiser of international exhibitions.
Activity of Latvijas Banka regarding the issuance of collector coins and 2 euro commemorative coins
Since 1993, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 44 euro collector coins, with over 50 Latvian artists having participated in designing them.
Latvian coins have received high international recognition and a number of prestigious awards; moreover, the "Coin of Latvia" won the international 2010 Coin of the Year Award at the contest organised by US Krause Publications and its magazine World Coin News. In 2015, the silver collector coin "The Baltic Way" was recognised as the Best Contemporary Event Coin at this contest, whereas in 2018, the collector coin "National Entrepreneur" was named the Most Artistic Coin of the Year. At the competition Coin of the Year Awards (COTY) in 2020, the "Honey Coin", Latvijas Banka's collector coin, was announced the world's Most Artistic Coin and the Coin of the Year.
The Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka (the former Commission for the Thematic Concept of the Banknotes and Coins), which has been active since 12 November 1993, plays an important role in the coin issuing process. The Commission consists of the employees of Latvijas Banka, outstanding Latvian experts of art and culture as well as artists and scientists.
After the euro changeover, Latvijas Banka carries on the tradition of issuing collector coin series with motifs characteristic of Latvia and executed in high artistic quality. These coins are legal tender only in the issuing country. They are unlikely to come into general circulation, for, by nature, they are works of art enjoying high demand from the numismatic community and other interested parties.
The face value of collector coins must differ from that of coins in general circulation (it must be, e.g. 5 euro or 10 euro). Their specifications, including colour, diameter, weight, material, etc. have to be cardinally distinctive from those of the coins in general circulation.
The issuance of 2 euro commemorative coins (2 euro circulation coins of special design) is another area of coin art. Each year, every euro area country is entitled to issue two 2 euro commemorative coins (similar to 1 lats special circulation coins previously issued in Latvia), featuring events of national, European or global significance. The euro area countries can additionally produce a third 2 euro commemorative coin, provided that it is issued jointly and that it commemorates events of European Union-wide importance.
Commemorative coins bear the same features and the same common or European side as the normal 2 euro circulation coins, while their national sides differ and feature a national commemorating motif.
Euro commemorative coins are legal tender throughout the euro area. This means they can be used – and must be accepted – just like any other euro coin.