Oskar Kallis (1892–1918)

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1. Self Portrait. 1915. Tartu Art Museum.

1. Self Portrait. 1915. Tartu Art Museum.

2. Linda Carying a Stone. 1917. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

2. Linda Carying a Stone. 1917. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

Oskar Kallis was an Estonian artist born in Tallinn. Kalliss’s work is characterized as Romantic nationalism, which uses painting as a platform to bolster patriotism in Estonia. Kallis began his formal training in 1907 in the studio of Ants Laikmaa.

3. Kalevipoeg laudu kandmas (illustration of epic poem of Estonia). 1914. Pastel.

3. Kalevipoeg laudu kandmas (illustration of epic poem of Estonia). 1914. Pastel.

Kallis became a member of the Estonian Artist Society and the association Vikerla. His most substantial body of work was based on Kalevipoeg, a poem by Friedrich Kreutzwald used as the Estonian national epic.

4. Dance of Life. 1916. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

4. Dance of Life. 1916. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

Kallis’s most known works were painted between 1914 and 1915. In addition to his nationalist paintings, Kallis designed furniture and textiles. Kallis’s aesthetic in painting and design shows, above all else, his devotion to Estonia. In addition to his large-scale works, Kallis produced a number of drawings and studies with pastel or charcoal on paper.

5. Self Portrait. 1912. Charcoal and chalk on paper. Tartu Art Museum

5. Self Portrait. 1912. Charcoal and chalk on paper. Tartu Art Museum

Kallis’s life was unfortunately cut short in 1918 from tuberculosis. Despite his short career, his work is featured at the Art Museum of Estonia.

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