Liberts Ludolfs

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Ludolfs Liberts

(1895.13.IV – 1959.11.III)

Painter, scenic designer, very important personality in Latvian culture.

Ludolfs Liberts attended J. Madernieks studio, learned in the sculpture section of Strogonov’s art school (1911.-1912.). 1915 he graduated from the School of Art in Kazan (taught by the artist Nikolay Fesin) and in that time worked as a decorator at the Opera in Kazan.

He took part at the 1st World War as an artillerist and received awards about his merits at the battleground. In 1921, he returns to Latvia and restarts painting.

The artist was teaching at the Latvian Art Academy (1923 – 32), he was in charge of the Figurative painting studio (1942 – 44).

1924. – 1937. – he worked as a decorator and director at the National Opera  and National Theatre and also as a guest director and decorator in Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.

L. Liberts was a member of Riga artists’ group and artists’ society “Sadarbs” (1924 – 39).

He took part in exhibitions since 1914. His works were exhibited also abroad. Solo exhibitions were organized in Riga (1923, together with K. Ubāns, 1934, 1938), Paris (1927), Brussels (1929), Berlin (1934, 1938) and Stockholm (1938).

In the thirties,  the artist made sketches to porcelain and faience paintings. Some plates were bought for the collection of  National Manufactory Museum in Sevr.

1935. – 1940. and 1941. – 1944. he was the director of State Printing House and Mint.

1938. – the artist executes the order of the State President representation interior at Riga Castle.

In 1944, Liberts emigrated first to Austria, after the war to Germany, and was a teacher at Latvian art school. In this period, he painted with tempera and published the album “European symphony” with tempera paintings (by J. E. Shuler, 1947. in the German and English languages, Stuttgart).

Liberts was awarded at international exhibitions in Paris (1931) and Barcelona (1939, Gold medal). He got scholarships and prizes of Latvia Culture foundation (1923, 1924, 1927). Artist also was awarded with Culture foundation of American Latvian association honour prize (1952).

The artist painted European cities – Venice, Paris (also at night time), and landscapes of Latvia. He also worked in figurative genre, made portraits and sometimes decorative paintings.

At  exhibitions he took part since 1914. Significant is the exhibition together with K. Ubans at Riga City Art Museum in 1923. The reviews about the exhibition were good.

He was a member of Independent Artist Unity, “Zala varna”, and took part in exhibitions organised by the Culture Foundation and the government in Latvia and abroad. Liberts arranged the Latvian pavillion at international exhibition in Paris, 1937.

When the artist painted in Latvia, it used to be constructivism. He started to paint romantically European towns after his first trip to Paris in 1924. Big impression came from the French painter Kamil Koro (1796. –1875). Liberts painted Venice, Paris (also at night time), Latvian landscapes (Tornakalns), figurative paintings (from Latvian folk), sometimes - portraits (decorative style).

In 1950, he went to the USA, New York. He learned painting in New York City College.

In 1953, a painting by L. Liberts “The Riga’s towers” was presented to the President of USA – D. Eisenhower as gratitude from American Latvian Association. This painting was exhibited at the White House at the working office, and the President wrote a gratitude letter to the Chairman of ALA, where he said that he is proud about the painting.

In the American period, the artist painted the skyscrapers, romantic motifs of the Central park and colourful landscapes of Florida. Besides those paintings, he created memories of Venice, Riga, Paris and paintings about Bible themes. At the last stage of his creative work, he depicted reality as a stage vision. At the American period, he took part at various exhibitions.

The artist’s paintings are in Latvian, French, Austrian, Swedish, Belgian, Finnish, Russian and American largest museums and private collections.

The decorations he painted were approximately for 70 shows in Latvia, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia, Finland and Yugoslavia. There are 13 monographs devoted to him – books published in 5 languages.


1914. - „Mir iskustva” traveling exhibition in Kazan;

1915. – The Youth Union exhibition in Moscow;

1923. – People’s University celebration exhibition;

1923. – exhibition with Konrads Ubans at the State Art Museum;

1924. 1926. 1928., 1929., 1930., 1932., 1934., 1935., 1936., 1938. exhibitions of Artists Union „Sadarbs”;

International theater art exhibition - Paris (1926., 1929., 1937.), New York (1936), Chicago, Philadelphia (1926.), Helsinki (1929.), Munich, Zurich, Köln, Bonn, Wiesbaden, Barcelona (1931.), Vienna, Ottawa (1937.), Venice(1938.);

1928. – The Latvian 10 year’s jubilee exhibition in Riga;

1929., 1930., 1931., 1933. – The exhibition of autumn salon in Paris;

Latvian Art exhibition – Oslo (1933.), Moscow, Leningrad (1934.), Helsinki, Tallinn, Tartu, Warsaw, Krakow (1936.), Budapest, Vienna, Prague (1937.),Copenhagen (1938.), Paris, London, Malm (1939.);

Exhibitions of cultural foundation – I (1935.), II (1936.), III (1936./37.), IV (1937./38);

1937. – The exhibition in Paris at the Latvian pavillion;

1941. - 1st Latvian SSR Art exhibition;

1942. - The Art exhibition in Riga;

1946. -1950.- Latvian artists’ exhibition in Germany;

1950. -1958. – Latvian Song festival Art Exhibition in USA.

Solo exhibitions:

1923. 1934., 1938. - Riga;

1927. – Carpenter in gallery, Paris;

1929. – Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels;

1931. - Gulitta gallery Berlin;

1934, 1938 – Berlin;

1938. – Stockholm;

1950. – 1959. – USA (11), also New York (9).


1923. /24. 1924./25., 1927. The scholarships and a grant from the Latvian Culture Foundation;

1928. – The medal of Three Stars, IV degree;

1931. – The Gold medal in Barcelona;

1933. – The Nord Star medal from Sweden;

1934. – The title of an Excellent Artist from the Latvian Art Academy;

1937. - Grand Prix, Gold medal in Paris;

1952. – awarded with the American Latvian association’s Culture Foundation Honor prize.


„Māksla un arhitektūra biogrāfijās”, 2. part., - R.: „Latvijas enciklopēdija”, 1996.,- I. Ņefedova, p. 80.

„Ludolfs Liberts”, catalog - R.: printed by „Parekss bank”, text by Guntis Švītiņš, Ieva Kalniņa, 2000. , p. 72.