Zalkalns, Teodors Eduardovich

Zaļkalns, Teodors Eduardovich


Born Nov. 18 (30), 1876, on the privately owned farm of Zalaiskalns, present-day Riga Raion, Latvian SSR; died Sept. 6, 1972, in Riga. Soviet sculptor. Hero of Socialist Labor (1971); People’s Artist of the USSR (1957). Became a member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR in 1947.

Zaļkalns studied at the Shtiglits School in St. Petersburg from 1893 to 1899; at this time he became a member of the Rukis (Toiler) circle. He studied in the A. Rodin Studio in Paris from 1899 to 1901. Among his instructors there was E. A. Bourdelle. Zaļkalns taught at the Industrial Arts School in Ekaterinburg (present-day Sverdlovsk) between 1903 and 1907. I. D. Shadr was one of his students. Zaļkalns lived in Florence from 1907 to 1909, returning to St. Petersburg in 1910.

His monuments to N. G. Chernyshevskii and L. A. Blanqui (neither is preserved), constructed in 1918 and 1919, helped implement Lenin’s program of “monumental propaganda.” Zajkalns lived in Riga from 1920, serving as the chairman of the subdepartment of sculpture at the Academy of Arts of the Latvian SSR from 1944 to 1958. V. K. Albergs and L. M. Davidova-Medene were among his pupils.

Zaļkalns’ work as an artist and teacher has greatly influenced the development of Latvian sculpture. His works include the statues of A. Kirkhensteine (plaster, 1946), F. Blumbahs (terracotta, 1956), and K. Barons (bronze, 1967)—all three are in the Art Museum of the Latvian SSR in Riga. Among the more than 20 gravestones that he carved are those of J. Poriks (granite, 1930, Riga) and O. Lacis (granite, 1945, Riga). His works also include monuments to R. Blaumanis (granite, 1929, Riga) and to A. Kronvalds (bronze, 1938, Sigulda), as well as sculptured medals and animal figures. Zaļkalns was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.


Baumanis, K.T. E. Zal’kaln. Moscow, 1960.
Baumanis, K.T. Zaļkalns. Riga, 1966.