Born on February 18, 1895 and died on November 30, 1920 in Riga. Painter. First acquaintance with art in the class of Julijs Madernieks at A. Kenins Technical School; studies at the Riga City Art School (1913 - 1915), Penza Art School during World War I (1915 - 1917). Early in the career, he was influenced by Impressionism and later became significantly impressed by the West European old masters and modern French painters, especially Andre Derain. Among Kazaks' major works are those reflecting the everyday life of refugees. He also painted portraits and a series of self-portraits. Kazaks adopted elements of early Latvian Modernism of the first decade of the 20th century and transformed them into an entirely personal style, which is characterized by expressiveness, simplicity, synthesis and even distortion of forms. He applied a conditional color pattern in oil and water color, and employed various graphic techniques (Indian ink, drawing, linocut, woodcut). Participation in the formation of Expressionists' Group (1919) and then the Riga Artists' Group (its theoretician and first chairman). Above 40 of his oil paintings, as well as about 250 water colors and drawings are kept at the Latvian State Museum of Fine Arts.
References: Art and Architecture. Biographies, II. Riga, 1996, pp. 15-16; D. Lamberga. Jekabs Kazaks. Riga,1995 (MME; Latvian Fine Arts in 1860 - 1940. Riga, 1986; J. Silins. Latvian Art in 1915 - 1940, I. Stockholm, 1988; E. Klavins. Latvian Portrait Painting in 1850 - 1916. Riga, 1996; Unerwartete Begegnung: lettische Avantgarde: 1910 - 1935. Köln,1990..
1) Lamberga D. Jēkabs Kazaks. - Rīga, 1995.
2) Māksla un arhitektūra biogrāfijās. Atb. red. A. Vilsons. – Rīga, 1996. – 2. sēj.
3) Siliņš J. Latvijas māksla 1915 – 1940. – Stokholma, 1988. – 1. sēj.