Jaan Koort

Koort, Jaan


Born Oct. 25 (Nov. 6), 1883, in the village of Pupastvere, in present-day Tartu Raion, Estonian SSR; died Oct. 14, 1935, in Moscow. Estonian sculptor; one of the founders of the 20th-century national school of art in Estonia.

Koort studied at the Shtiglits Central School of Drafting in St. Petersburg from 1902 to 1905 and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1905 to 1908; he also attended private studios. Koort lived in Paris until 1915. His early works reflect influences of symbolism.

Between 1910 and 1930 he sculpted a number of portraits (Portrait of the Wife, plaster of paris, 1913–14; basalt, 1916; Art Museum of the Estonian SSR, Tallinn) and typological representations of Estonian peasants (Man with a Pipe, plaster of paris, 1919; wood, 1920, Tartu Art Museum). These works are marked by Severo simplicity of large forms and a deep understanding of national character.

Koort also executed sculptures of animals (The Roe Deer, bronze, 1929, Executive Committee of the City Soviet of Working Peoples’ Deputies, Tallinn). In addition, he was a painter, and he played an important role in the development of Estonian ceramics. From 1934, Koort was the technical director of the ceramics factory in GzheP (USSR).


Gens, L. Koort. Moscow, 1959.
Gens, L. Jaan Koort: 1883–1935. Tallinn, 1964. (Summary in Russian.)