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Janis Rozentāls

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Janis Rozentāls
2458 Janis Rozentals.jpg
Born(1866-03-18)18 March 1866
Saldus parish, Courland Governorate, Russian Empire
Died26 December 1916(1916-12-26) (aged 50)
Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire
Known forPainting
MovementImpressionism, Art Nouveau

Janis Rozentāls (March 18, 1866  – December 26, 1916) was a famous Latvian painter.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Kolekcijas monēta "Janis Rozentāls"
  • "Princese ar pērtiķi" atklāšana - Jaņa Rozentāla un Rūdolfa Blaumaņa muzejs


On Wednesday, 23 November, Latvijas Banka is issuing a 5 euro silver collector coin “Janis Rozentāls”. This unique silver collector coin is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the prominent Latvian painter Janis Rozentâls. The graphic design of the coin has been created by painter Sandra Krastiņa. Since I'm also a painter, an idea hit me when viewing works by Rozentāls. I didn't want to fragment them to create a new piece of art out of these works. I thought one of his typical paintings would serve the purpose. The man on the street doesn't know what a back of a painting looks like. The back of any painting, including also paintings by Rozentāls, is a canvas stretcher we also use today. This is the first time a full colour spectrum appears on Latvijas Banka's collector coin, i.e. the artist has chosen to depict one of the best-known paintings by Rozentāls "The Princess and the Monkey". It seemed to me this is one of the works that comes into your mind when someone says "Rozentāls". There is also another aspect. He is an international figure. He is internationally recognisable, since the stylistics, visual arts and visual language of the time keep pace with world events in Rozentāls' works. And it seemed important to me to say: "Hey, he is our significant, great painter, his art was inextricably linked to, global art developments of the time. The painting is surrounded by various secrets, making it more interesting. Speculations about Rozentāls' female contemporaries, who inspired him to paint the image of the princess or even posed for him, do not fade away. Similarly, the symbolic meaning of the painting is interpreted in various ways. Rozentāls' contemporaries perceived it as an allegory to the artist's dependence on society. A painter wants to send out a message with each and every painting he makes. He doesn't use the drapery and doesn't paint the woman's hair red just for the sake of doing so. He wants to say something. And interpretations differ. They continue going on and on, and I think the value of this painting lies in the fact that after more than 100 years we have been trying to find this interpretation, we want to look at the painting and understand what he wanted to say Although the reverse of the coin was designed to depict the back of the painting, it slightly differs from the original. The reverse bears the passport of any painting. It is canvas, it is a canvas stretcher. We all write the name and surname, title of the work, size, technique, year. And this was my suggestion. Since this wonderful painting, which is one of the icons of the national painting, belongs to the Latvian National Museum of Art, its seal is affixed to the back of the painting. Like identity. Jānis Strupulis is the author of the plaster model of the coin "Janis Rozentâls". The coin has been struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands) and its maximum mintage is 7 000 pieces.



Rozentāls was born in Bebri Farmstead, Saldus parish, Courland Governorate in the Russian Empire. He was the son of a blacksmith. He received the basic education at H.Krause's Elementary School in Saldus and Kuldīga District School. At the age of fifteen he left for Riga and consistently tried to realize his dream about art, later entering Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts. During study vacations the developing artist visited his native land to relax from the hectic rhythm of the large city, paint motifs from nature and commissioned portraits. For his diploma work he took as models the young educated Latvians and local farmers.

A little later the artist decided to settle in Saldus as he wanted to live among his people and create art appropriate to its aspirations and feelings. In spring 1899 Rozentāls bought a building plot at the Striķu street and set up a studio, but his intents were not well received in the provincial town, and he moved to Riga two years later. Now a memorial museum is arranged in the building designed by the artist. Fateful turn in life of the painter happened in November, 1902, when Janis Rozentāls got acquainted with Elli Forssell (1871–1943), a Finnish singer, in Riga. On February 20, 1903, they got married. They found home in a flat- studio, on Albert street in Riga. They had three children – Laila, Irja and Miķelis.

World War I interrupted the family's life in a villa in Kulosaari, Helsinki where they lived from 1905 to 1916.

While coming from exhibition in Moscow he got ill and died on December 26, 1916 in Helsinki. He was buried in Hietaniemi Cemetery, though later was reburied in Forest Cemetery in Riga in 1920. Today, the Janis Rozentāls Art Highschool in Riga is named after him, and has had his name since 1946.[2]

Creative work

The scope of Rozentāls' activities was very wide, but painting was of paramount importance. He revealed the beauty of nature, demonstrated the integrity of man and nature. In Rozentāls' works the linear coexisted with the picturesque, flatness – with a soft transition of tones, small touches of paint – with wast surfaces of color. The main trait of his compositions was asymmetry, the wavelike rhythm of Art Nouveau.

Rozentāls painted many portraits. The creative potential of the artist revealed itself in the portraits of persons spiritually close to him. Rozentāls made several portraits of the patron of writers and artists A.Dombrovskis, writer Rūdolfs Blaumanis, artist's wife Elli Forsell.

Janis Rozentāls interested in the biological nature of man – the world of passions, the love theme, was typical of his time. He used the popular Biblical plots "Temptation", "Eve with the Apple", motives from the mythology and observations of the reality of his time. At least a part of the fantastic images possessed both, contemporary and local, and individual symbolic meaning.

Artist turned to landscape painting as well, and created a lyrical image of the motherland in the Latvian art. His favorite season was spring, the rebirth of Nature. J.Rozentāls made several altar-pieces to order in the churches of Latvia. In his altar-pieces Rozentāls omitted the dynamics, expressiveness, texture and finished composition. He took into consideration the understanding of art of the simple people and adapted himself to it, yet at the same time he tried not to lose the artistic quality.

The artist tried his skills in monumental painting. In the summer of 1910 he worked at the decorative frieze on the facade of the newly erected building of the Riga Latvian Society. He painted seven symbolic compositions characterizing the main activities of the society.

Painting occupied a central place in the creative activity of Janis Rozentāls, yet his performance in graphic art was significant, too. The scope of his activity was very wide – the design of books and magazines, applied graphic art, posters and drawings.

The characterization of Janis Rozenāls' personality would not be exhaustive without a review of his social activity. During his study years he took part in the life of the Academy of St. Petersburg. Later he devoted much effort to the consolidation of Latvian artists, who were neglected in their native land. He was a member of jury of almost all the biggest Latvian art exhibitions. Rozentāls took part in the organization of the exhibitions of Latvian art outside Latvia.[3]



  1. ^ The Rozentāls Family. Elita Sproģe. J.Rozentāls Saldus Museum of History and Art.2008.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Janis Rozentāls. Inta Pujāte. "Liesma". Rīga. 1991.
This page was last edited on 10 February 2018, at 11:03
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