Svemps Leo

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Leo Svemps

Born on July 19, 1897 in Belava district (Latvia), died on March 7, 1975 in Riga. Painter. Education at the Greek-Orthodox Ecclesiastical Seminary in Riga (1909-1917), the Law Faculty at the Moscow University (1917-1918), and the Law Faculty at the University of Latvia (1920-1925). While in Moscow, he attended A. Bolshakov's studio (1917) and the State Free Art Workshops under I. Mashkov (1918 - 1919); influence of French Modernism. Member of the Riga Artists' Group. Realist. An outstanding master of the still-life and landscape genre in Latvian painting. Preference to oil. A vigorous manner of representation, brilliancy of palette, light and shade contrasts, vital and energetic impasto are peculiar to his exceptional style. In the 1920s and 1930s, he practiced law. From 1940 to 1975, professor and rector (since 1961) of the Latvian State Academy of Arts.
References: Leo Svemps. Riga, 1982; J. Silins. Latvian Art in 1915-1940, I. Stockholm, 1988.