Johans Valters / Johann Walter

The series „Classics of Latvian Art” presents a book about Johann Walter (1869–1932) - one of the masters who laid the foundations of modern painting in Latvia at the turn of the 20th century.

His position as one of Latvia’s three most outstanding artists of the time, along with Vilhelms Purvītis and Janis Rozentāls, is due to a combination of painting talent and highly developed musicality, which stimulated him to seek rhythmic harmony amid the flicker of different impressions.

In 1906 the painter moved to Germany, and adopted the name Walter-Kurau as his artistic pseudonym, combining the surnames of his deceased parents. The first decade of emigration in Dresden (1906–1916) became a time of the fête galante in Walter’s art, marked by a Postimpressionist decorativeness corresponding to the atmosphere of the Belle Époque. During his period in Berlin (1916/1917–1932) the leitmotif of his creative quest was his selfformulated striving for “far-reaching abstraction through the strictest studies from nature”, along with architectonic representation of forms and the colour melodies of the “presence to be painted”.

Painterly delight in nature is awakened only when, beyond concrete objects, the human eye begins to perceive melodious colour relationships and delicate regularities of form.

Johans Valters

The series „Classics of Latvian Art” includes books of medium size, offering an easily perceptible information about Latvian classical artists and their works. The series is intended as bilingual (Latvian/English), richly illustrated publications. An attractive supplement at the end of each book is a timeline where the life of Latvian artists can be viewed within the context of world events, revealing connections, parallels or just interesting coincidences.