Vilhelms Purvītis

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Vilhelms Purvītis
Painter, Pedagogue, teacher
Cimetière de la Forêt (Riga)

Vilhelms Purvītis (3 March 1872 in Zaube, Latvia – 14 January 1945 in Bad Nauheim, Germany) was a landscape painter and educator who founded the Latvian Academy of Art and was its rector from 1919 to 1934.

Purvītis studied painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, Russia from 1890 to 1897, primarily under Arkhip Kuindzhi, graduating with the Grand Gold Medal. From 1898 to 1901 his paintings were exhibited in Berlin, Munich, Paris, and Lyon to great acclaim. Thereafter he made his home in Riga, traveling to Spitsbergen in Norway in 1902 to study the painting of snow.

Constantly experimenting and becoming a master of snow scenes, Purvītis began as a realist, turned to impressionism, and was later influenced by Cézanne and Munch. As the leader of the landscape painting workshop at the Latvian Academy of Art from 1921 to 1944, of visual arts in the architecture department at the University of Latvia from 1919 to 1940, and director of the Riga City Art School from 1909 to 1915, Purvītis had a host of followers and was the acknowledged leader of a whole school of Latvian painting.

Many of his works were destroyed when the Red Army took Jelgava in 1944, while many others were lost when evacuated to Bavaria. Purvītis' remains were reinterred in Riga in 1994, after Latvia regained its independence.

Master Class in Landscape Painting at the Latvian Art Academy, 1942. Seated in the middle is Professor Vilhelms Purvitis


  • File:Vilhelms Purvītis - Winter - Google Art Project.jpg

    Winter (1910)


  • File:Vilhelms Purvītis - Spring Waters (Maestoso) - Google Art Project.jpg

    Spring Waters (1910)


  • File:Purvitis Rudens saule.jpg

    Autumn Sun (1909)



Images Title Relation type From To Description Languages
1Latvian National Museum of ArtLatvian National Museum of Artwork00.00.191900.00.1940en, lv, ru
2Koka ēka Rīgā, Brīvības ielā 41Koka ēka Rīgā, Brīvības ielā 41lv



        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Karolīna PurvītsKarolīna PurvītsWife18.09.187710.09.1955
        Mariona VitansFoster daughter00.00.1922
        3Mintauts PurvītisMintauts PurvītisRelative26.11.194126.06.2008

        31.01.1890 | Rūķis

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        13.01.1905 | 1905. gads "Asiņainā svētdiena"

        Nemieri jeb 1905. gada revolūcija Latvijā 1905. gadā sākās ar 13. janvāra manifestāciju Rīgā, kuru, kā reakciju uz demonstrantu apšaušanu Sanktpēterburgā 9. janvārī, organizēja LSDP.

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