Zale, Karlis

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zale, Karlis


(also, Karl Fedorovich Zalite). Born Oct. 25 (Nov. 6), 1888, in present-day Kuldiga Raion, Latvian SSR; died Feb. 19, 1942, in Incukalns near Riga. Latvian sculptor.

Zale studied in the Art School of the Society for the Promotion of the Arts (in 1915 under G. R. Zaleman) and in the Academy of Arts in Petrograd (1917–20 under A. T. Matveev) where he helped implement Lenin’s program of “monumental propaganda” (monuments to N. A. Dobroliubov and G. Garibaldi, that have not survived). Zale lived in Berlin (1921–23) and then returned to Latvia. His major works include an ensemble for the Memorial Cemetery (tuff, 1924–36 with A. K. Birzenieks and other architects) which eloquently expresses grief for the fallen soldiers through symbolic, monumental images that combine the traditions of art nouveau with those of national art, and the Monument of Freedom (granite and tuff, 1931–35), both in Riga. He also did a series of easel works. Between 1936 and 1942, Zale headed the Sculptor’s Studio (as a professor) of the Latvian Academy of Arts in Riga.


Birzenieks, A., and E. Briedis, comps.Brāļu kapi. Riga, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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