Vilhelms Karlis Purvitis

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Purvītis, Vilhelms Kārlis


Born Feb. 20 (Mar. 3), 1872, at the farmstead of Jauži, in present-day Cēsis Raion, Latvian SSR; died Jan. 14, 1945, in Neuheim, Germany. Latvian landscape painter.

Purvītis studied with A. I. Kuindzhi at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1890 to 1897. He was the rector of the Latvian Academy of Arts in Riga from 1919 to 1934 and the director of its landscape studio from 1921 to 1944. His students included E. Kalnyn’, N. Breiksh, and K. Melbarzdis.

Purvītis’ landscapes are marked by a generalized yet emotional perception of nature, intense colors, and, not infrequently, decorative compositional and coloristic solutions. His works include Winter Landscape (1898), A Bend in the Gauja River (c. 1908), Autumn (c. 1929), Spring (early 1930’s), and Landscape With Haystacks (c. 1936). All the above-mentioned paintings are in the Art Museum of the Latvian SSR in Riga.


Saldavs, O. Vilhelms Purvītis. Riga, 1958.
Kačalova, T. Vilhelms Purvītis. Riga, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.