Edgars Vinters

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Edgars Vinters
Medal of the Three Stars (LV), Painter
Cimetière de la Forêt (Riga)

Edgars Vinters (September 22, 1919 – April 29, 2014) was a Latvian painter.


Born in Riga, Edgars Vinters was the only child of the facade and decoration painter Hermanis Vinters (1874–1939) and his wife Anna, née Kalniņa, (1879–1953). As a ten-year-old boy he met with the popular pastelist Voldemārs Irbe, who detected the boy’s talent, taught him the basics of pastel painting and opened his eyes for the beauty of nature in the alleged minor details. As from 1935 he wrote small articles for children's and youth magazines, which he illustrated with pen and ink drawings and linocuts. With the money he made he contributed to the school fee for the commercial college he attended until 1940 after a change of school.

Resulting from a contact he made with the painter Hugo Kārlis Grotuss, from 1937 Vinters changed his painting style. Grotuss encouraged him to give up ‘the dark phase’ he was in through Irbe, to use brighter primers and to show more briskness and colours in his paintings. A porcelain factory engaged him to paint a series of porcelain plates for president Kārlis Ulmanis.

After he had taken his high-school-diploma, he joined the Latvian Art Academy and until 1944 studied under the professors Jānis Kuga, Leo Svemps, Jānis Cielavs, Valdemārs Tone, Jānis Annuss, Kārlis Miesnieks und Vilhelms Purvītis. In 1944, Vinters had to drop out of his studies; he was drafted for the service in the Latvian Legion and deployed near Toruń on the Vistula River. In 1945 he was taken prisoner of war by the Soviet Army and deported to a POW camp near Moscow. There Russian officers made out his artistic abilities and facilitated the establishment of an atelier. During this time Vinters made a series of drawings and paintings, which he for the first time showed to an art lover, who had worked about his life and his works and which were published in an art book the same year 2012. Back in Riga in 1947 he could teach art and drafting at a secondary school. At the same time he attended Janis Rozentāls Art Highschool and got his qualifications for teaching in 1949.


Vinters painted objectively, mostly landscape painting. Early works from childhood and youth were made with pencil and ink pen, later, for a short time he made linocuts and pastel works and then found his means of painting, his favor in oil painting. Frequently in his craft he made aquarelles and as a speciality during the 1970s monotypes. But oil painting remained his prime mean of expression for his interpretations of his beloved Latvian landscapes during the seasons, of flowers and townscapes.

During the time of German occupation, Vinters published drawings and aquarelles in German Journals.

During the Soviet period, his exhibitions were confined to Riga and other cities of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic. After the liberation of Latvia in 1991 his art increasingly found attention and appreciation. Periodically exhibitions were organized in Latvia, later beginning in 1993 in UK and the USA and from 2006 in Germany. Increasingly his works are presented by the art trade worldwide.

During a state visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gül on April 2, 2013 in Latvia, the Latvian President Andris Bērziņš presented to the Turkish presidential couple as a gift a painting of Edgars Vinters.

Private life

In 1951 Vinters married Helma Krause, a teacher and colleague. Their only child son Ilmārs was born in 1958. Vinters was buried on May 2, 2014 at the cemetery '1. Meža kapi' in the northeastern part of Riga at the side of his mother.


On November 16, 2009 Edgars Vinters in recognition of his lifetime achievement was awarded the Order of the Three Stars by President Valdis Zatlers.

Source: wikipedia.org

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