Born on March 3, 1872 in Zaube district
(Latvia), died on January 14, 1945 in Bad Nauheim (Germany); reburied
in Riga in 1994.
Painter. Studies at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1890 - 1897).
The Grand Gold medal award upon graduation from A. Kuindzhi's Workshop
of Landscape Painting. Member of the artists' associations "Rukis",
"Mir iskusstva", "Kunstverein". V. Purvitis is considered the founder
of the Latvian national school of landscape painting.
During his lifetime, he accomplished significant educational and administrative
work, headed the Riga City Art School (1909 - 1915), founded the Latvian
Academy of Arts and was its first rector (1919 - 1934), headed the
Workshop of Landscape Painting (1921 - 1944), the Visual Arts Workshop
at the Faculty of Architecture, the University of Latvia (1919 - 1940),
the Riga City Art Museum (1919 - 1940, 1941 - 1944); academician of
the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1913). A Bronze Medal at the World
Exhibition in Paris (1900), Gold medallist at the exhibition of Münich
Secession (1901), holder of the Fatherland's Award (1938). In 1944,
emigrated to Germany.
References: Art and Architecture, Biographies, II. Riga, 1996,
pp. 202-203; O. Saldavs. Vilhelms Purvitis. Riga, 1958; T. Kacalova.
Vilhelms Purvitis. Riga, 1971; H. Vitols. Flood-time in March. Vesterosa.
1975; J. Silins. Latvian Art in 1800 - 1914, II. Stockholm, 1988;
Vilhelms Purvitis: Representative Album / Compilation and text by
P. Savickis. Riga, 1989; Latvian Academy of Arts / Compiled by I.
Burane. Riga, 1989.