Johans Valters

Monograph on the painter Johann Walter (1869–1932), whose name has been Latvianised to Jānis Valters by several generations in hise native country.

At the turn of the 20th century he together with Vilhelms Purvītis and Janis Rozentāls contributed to the swift rise of modern painting in Latvia. In 1906, the painter moved to Germany where he worked as Walter-Kurau. Against the changing background of countries, cities, periods and stylistic influences Walter’s personality and art developed in a continuous interaction of painting, music, art theory and art pedagogy. For many years, Walter was "the most mysterious key figure of Latvian art". Since the late 1990s, numerous discoveries help to fill the previous gaps of knowledge and reconstruct the international story of the artist’s life and work. 

The author of the book, art historian Kristiāna Ābele is researcher at the Institute of Art History of the Latvian Academy of Art.

A thoughtful and steadily advancing painter has built step by step a clear and complete world of ideas, whose expressive power moves every sensitive eye. (…) His utmost efforts were about colour as a means of expression; the rich and sonorous colour of his rhythmically flowing compositions is something unusual for German painting.

Kurt Kusenberg, 1933