(Gustav Ianovich [Ivanovich] Shkilter). Born Nov. 16 (28), 1874, in Renzen Volost, in what is now Val-miera Raion; died Sept. 24, 1954, in Riga. Latvian sculptor and graphic artist, one of the first representatives of the Latvian school of sculpture of the 20th century.
Šķilters studied under M. A. Chizhov at the Shtiglits Central School of Technical Drawing in St. Petersburg from 1893 to 1899 and perfected his technique at A. Rodin’s studio between 1900 and 1905. From 1906 to 1907 he drew political caricatures for St. Petersburg’s Latvian-language satirical journal Svari (Scale). He taught at the Shtiglits School from 1905 to 1918 and at the Latvian Academy of Arts from 1924 to 1932.
Thorough precision of form is frequently combined with a picturesque treatment of the medium in Šķilters’ free-standing figures and easel portraits. His works include portraits in bronze of R. Kaudzīt (1902) and M. Kaudzīt (1912), both housed in the Art Museum of the Latvian SSR in Riga, and one of K. Baumanis (1928, Opera and Ballet Theater of the Latvian SSR, Riga). In 1974 the G. Skilters Memorial Museum was opened in Riga.