Born July 27 (Aug. 8), 1889, in Jēkabpils; died Mar. 22, 1967, in Riga. Soviet painter. People’s Artist of the Latvian SSR (1959). Corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1954).
Skulme studied at the studios of J. Rosentāls in Riga (1906–07) and R. K. Zhukovskii and K. F. Iuon in Moscow (1907-08). He also studied at the Shtiglits School in St. Petersburg (1909-14). He was director of the Academy of Arts of the Latvian SSR from 1944 to 1961 and chairman of the administrative board of the Artists’ Union of the Latvian SSR from 1952 to 1953.
Skulme’s easel paintings include the first examples of the historical-revolutionary genre in Latvian art (The Kaugurs Uprising, 1945, Arts Museum of the Latvian SSR, Riga). A leading Latvian stage designer, Skulme designed sets for more than 250 plays at the J. Rainis Latvian Art Theater in Riga, including the sets for J. Rainis’ Fire and the Night (1947; State Prize of the USSR, 1947). Skulme was awarded three orders and a medal.