Gedert Eliass (1887.23.IX – 1975.29.I)
Born on September 23, 1887 in Jelgava district (Latvia), died on January 29, 1975 in Riga. Painter. Studies at Janis Valters' Studio in Jelgava (1903) and Vilhelms Purvitis' Studio (1904). After involvement in the revolutionary events of 1905, G. Eliass lived in exile and resumed art studies in Copenhagen (around 1907). Under an assumed name, he became a student at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels (1908 - 1913), attended the Parisian studio of G.P. Lorrain (1913 - 1914). Member of Riga Artists' Group (1920 - 1938). Contributor to different genres of painting (figural compositions, portraits, landscapes) and, most significantly, to the development of the traditional country-life genre. His early oeuvres reflect stylistic changes under the influence of postimpressionism and early modernism, while those of the 1920s and 1930s feature painterly neorealism. The artist claimed to be adherent to none of the established art styles. He worked in oil, water-color and pastel. Professor (1925 - 1942, 1944 - 1953) and head of figural painting workshop at the Latvian Academy of Arts (1932 - 1942). Director of the art history board of the Latvian Encyclopedia (1928 - 1940). Author (jointly with K. Eliass) of Modern French Painting ( 1940) and numerous articles in periodicals.
References: Art and Architecture. Biographies, Riga, 1995, pp. 146--147; A. Osmanis. Gederts Eliass. Riga, 1995; Latvian Fine Arts in 1860 - 1940. Riga, 1986; J. Silins. Latvian Art in 1915 - 1940, I. Stockholm, 1988; Unerwartete Begegnung: lettische Avantgarde: 1910 - 1935. Köln, 1990.