Johann Köler (1826–1899)

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1. Italian Woman with Children by a Stream. 1862. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

1. Italian Woman with Children by a Stream. 1862. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

2. Self Portrait. 1859. Oil on Canvas.

2. Self Portrait. 1859. Oil on Canvas.

Johann Köler was an Estonian artist who led the Estonian national awakening, an era in which Estonia began to see itself as a self-governing nation. Köler’s paintings depict a national consciousness through his many portraits, genre scenes and landscape paintings.

3. Christ on the Cross. 1857-1859. Oil painting. Kumu Art Museum, Estonia.

3. Christ on the Cross. 1857-1859. Oil painting. Kumu Art Museum, Estonia.

Köler was born in a rural area in Viljandi County, presently known as Ivaski. Despite being from a family of peasants, he attended school in Livonia and began to apprentice at an artist’s workshop in Võnnu.

4. Portrait of Lady. 1876. Oil on Canvas. Enn Kunila’s Art Collection.

4. Portrait of Lady. 1876. Oil on Canvas. Enn Kunila’s Art Collection.

Köller moved to St. Petersburg by 1846, where he enrolled at the Imperial Art Academy. As a student, Köller refined his skills in painting and drawing. He proceeded to travel throughout Europe, visiting capital cities such as Rome, Berlin and Paris. Köller returned to St. Petersburg in 1861 with a request to instruct the Duchess Maria Aleksandrovna, daughter of the Czar. As a member of the imperial court, Köller promoted Estonia and encouraged the period of national awakening.

5. Girl at the source. 1959-1961. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

5. Girl at the source. 1959-1961. Oil on Canvas. Art Museum of Estonia.

Köller is findly remembered in Estonia, where he has been featured on postage stamps and commemorated with a memorial. contact Art Experts for information regarding our services.

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