2004 | 3 | 29-39
Article title

ALWAYS FORWARD! EDUARDS KALNINS' CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT AND ROME SCHOLARSHIP (Vienmer tikai uz prieksu! Eduarda Kalnina veidosanas periods un Romas stipendija)

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The article deals with the creative career of the famous Latvian painter Eduards Kalnins (1904-1988), focusing on the inter-war period and studies in Italy. Kalnins, born and grown up in Riga, could simply and elegantly speak with highly educated people and fishermen, peasants and simple vagrants. He had enough diplomatic wisdom to avoid repressions regardless of the state power. His human capacities, infallible sense of superior power and its entrapments, and keeping silent when necessary were obviously decisive. Kalnins' single hired position was closely connected with painting - it was instructor's work at the Latvian Academy of Art. In 1945 he became instructor at the Academy's Painting Department and all the rest of his life was involved in pedagogical work, training almost all students at the Easel Painting Studio in the 1950s -1970s. During the last eight years he was academician of the USSR Academy of Art, holding his master studio in Riga where several talented painters have perfected their skills. During the early period of his career his wide interests included almost all genres of painting - portrait, figure scenes, still lifes, landscapes, seascapes. Still he was first of all disciple of the Professor Vilhelms Purvitis' Landscape Painting Studio, and profound image of nature was an equivalent, characterising component of his figural paintings. Already at the Academy Kalnins was noted by his subtle grey colouring complemented with brighter accents. Alongside smooth paintings with some loosened spots, he used thick brushwork, a little nervous and imbalanced painting. In 1934 the so-called Rome Foundation Scholarship competition was established, activating the young generation of artists. Kalnins submitted the competition work 'Raftsmen' and gained a victory over 23 candidates. 'Raftsmen' concluded an entire epoch in his career. The national subject may have been derived from the elaborated Dutch traditions and corresponded to Latvian mentality and national patriotism of the late 1930s. In August 1935 Eduards Kalnins went for one year of studies to Italy.
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