Strunke Niklavs

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Niklavs Strunke

Born on October 6, 1894 in Poland, died on October 13, 1966 in Rome.

Painter, graphic artist, stained-glass and stage designer, essayist on art (under the pen-name of Palmenu Klavs).
Studies at the School of Imperial Society for Fostering Art in St. Petersburg under the guidance of  N. Roerich, I. Bilibin (1909 - 1911), M. Bernstein's Art Studio (1911-1913), J. Madernieks' Studio in Riga (1913-1914), and private art schools in St. Petersburg (1914 - 1915). In the early 1920s, he visited Berlin, Rome, Florence, and Capri. In addition to the influences of Constructivism, Cubism, and Russian Modernism, his works attest to his interest in Italian art and Latvian folk art. Participant in exhibitions of the Riga Artists' Group. Painter of still lifes, portraits, landscapes. A prominent book illustrator and press graphics artist (The Son of Strength, 1923, and The Black Fairytales, 1925 by A. Brigadere, The Hedgehog's Skin, 1927, by V. Pludonis, Umurkumurs, 1932 by A. Caks, and others). His works feature refined stylisation, decorativeness, preference to everything exotic, ornateness and simplicity of forms, clarity, purity, and primitivism. He is author of sketches for paintings on chinaware (manufactured at J. Jessens' and Kuznetsov's Porcelain Works). In 1944, he emigrated to Sweden.
References: Latvian Fine Arts in 1860 - 1940. Riga, 1986; J. Silins. Latvian Art in 1915 -1940, III. Stockholm, 1993; Dz. Andrusaite. Niklavs Strunke in His Letters and Outside Them // Latvian Fine Arts. Riga, 1988, pp. 93-115; N. Strunke. The Sacred Birch Grove. Stockholm, 1964; Niklavs Strunke's Exile Story, 1971.