Ādams Alksnis (10 March 1864 – 21 March 1897) was a Latvian painter. He is one of the first painters who started to paint daily scenes from latvian peasant life.
Ādams Alksnis is the head of the circle of Latvian artists “Worker”.
Alksnis was born in 10 March, 1864 in Vecalkšņi homestead, Mazsalaca parish, Livonian Governorate however he was raised in Rūjiena where his father opened a book store. He graduated local municipal school and traveled to Riga to study art. He studied drawing in technical school of Riga german craftsmen society and later traveled to St. Petersburg. There he started studies in Russian Imperial acedemy of art in 1883. He studied under Bogdan Willewalde and specialised in military art. In this period he was known as unformal leader and consolidator of latvian artists in St. Petersburg. He actively participated in local latvian artist society Rūķis (Dwarf).
In 1892 he graduated and returned to Latvia. He lived mostly in his native Rūjiena. In 1897 he underwent a minor nose surgery in Riga but died quite suddenly from Blood-poisoning in March 21. He was buried in Rūjiena town cemetery.
Participant of art exhibitions since 1883. In 1896, he took part in the ethnographic exhibition of Latvian artists in Riga, when, in connection with the 10th Congress of Archeologists of Russia, an exhibition was organized. The works of A. Alksnis, J. Rozenthal, V. Purvit, J. Walter, A. Bumanis, R. Balodis and S. Birnbaum were exhibited on it devoted to the native nature and people. It was here that Latvian national art first made itself known.
Biggest part of his artistic legacy consists from drawings and watercolours. There is known only 15 oil paintings. Many of his works are displayed in the Latvian National Museum of Art.
His legacy includes drawings and watercolors, only 15 paintings. His works are stored at the Latvian National Museum of Art, Kuldiga County Museum, Alchony House Museum in Rūjiena, Tukums Museum, Art Academy Museum in St. Petersburg.
As one of the first, he began to focus on depicting the life of Latvian peasants, which for a long time was the main theme of Latvian painting. The artist was also interested in ancient history, the motifs of folk freedoms.
Alksnis painted portraits, genre paintings and landscaping studies (“Sitting Boy”, “Father Portrait”, “On the Road”), including watercolors featuring scenes from rural life (“To the Forest,” “Ferry”, “Sower”), as also scenes from Latvian history and mythology. Alks draw a lot, often – countryside scenes (“Potato harvesters”, “Horse watering”), fairy tale images (“Rush”, “Ganuzens and Devil”), scenes of Latvian history (“Battle of the Zemgale with Crusaders”, “Scouts”). Drawings based on pencil and charcoal.
Adams Alksnis is an excellent draftsman, the author of a large number of realistic watercolors, drawings on the themes of the history of Latvia, the life of the Latvian people (The Sower, 1896), and several canvases painted in oil.
The artist’s creative heritage includes portraits, genre paintings and landscapes (“Sitting boy”, “Father’s portrait”, “Road”), watercolors depicting scenes from rural life (“Forest”, “Parom”), as well as Latvian history and mythology.
The works of the artist are now in the collections of the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Museum of the city of Kuldiga, the house-museum of A. Alksnis in Ruiyene, the Tukums Museum, and the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.
Memorable exhibitions of A. Alksnis were held in Riga in 1925, 1947 and 1964.
Source from Wikipedia