Thursday, August 7, 2014

Janis Rozentals

Under the Rowan Tree
oil on canvas
7.8 x 5.5 cm
Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia

Janis Rozentals (1866-1916), a son of a blacksmith in Latvia, was a famous Latvian painter who was one of the founders of Latvian national professional fine arts.

He acquired his first professional skills working as a wall-painter and attending the School of German Craftsmen's Society in Riga. He later studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. The scope of his activities was very wide. He was an outstanding portraitist. He painted also genre scenes, symbolic compositions, landscapes; author of altar pieces, works of monumental, decorative and graphic arts. He revealed the beauty of nature, demonstrated the integrity of man and nature. His personal manner reflects stylistic changes that were characteristic of the period, i.e. liberation from academic traditions, influences of Impressionism, Symbolism, Art Nouveau, and Postimpressionism. His essays and reviews of art that regularly appeared in periodicals, fostered the Latvian aesthetic thought and art theory.