The series “Classics of Latvian Art” is supplemented with a book about Jēkabs Bīne (1895–1955). He was a renowned master of painting, graphics and applied art, as well as an educator, art critic and scholar. His lifelong artistic passion was the study of ancient Latvian history and ornaments.
Bīne’s view of what art should be was tied to his faith in the national future of the nation. In his view, Latvian art should be based on ancient Latvian traditions and narratives passed on via folk texts, while the nation’s future rests on awareness of its history. The artist possessed a realistic and concrete way of thinking, and his mythological works also literally depicted ancient Latvian deities and traditions.Agita Gritāne
Bīne’s work and attitudes to life were greatly influenced by the revival during the First Republic of the Dievturi movement, the ancient Latvian pagan religious tradition. The Dievturi were keen students of Latvian history, ethnography, mythology, folk art, ancient ornaments and traditions.