Jānis Valters (Kurau)
Jānis Valters was born in the family of seller and (then) the Jelgava City Mayor.
He studied in St Petersburg academy of Art (since 1889) under the guidance of A. Kivsenko and V. Makovsky. The artist graduated from the academy in 1894 with his diploma work “At the port” and received the title of a second degree artist (during his study years, he already had gotten silver medals of 1st and 2nd degrees). He graduated also from the St Petersburg Art Academy Highest School of Art with diploma work “Market of Jelgava”.
Valters was a member of the Latvian students’ group “Rūķis” since 1893.
In 1894 he organized his first exhibition in Jelgava.
Together with V. Purvītis, the artist took part in St Petersburg exhibitions and was a jury member of academic Spring exhibitions.
Valters organised a number of solo exhibitions in Riga, Jelgava and Koknese (1898 – 1904). He took part in approximately 30 exhibitions most of all in Russia and West Europe till 1905.
In 1906, the artist emigrated to Germany, where he lived until his death. After leaving Latvia, in Germany J. Valters started to add to his signature his mother’s maiden name – Kurau. In Germany, he lived in Dresden (1906 – 1917) and Berlin (1917 – 1932). The Artist took part in exhibitions in Germany – Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Dusseldorf etc.
It’s possible that he made approximately 3000 works during this period (after 1906).