Born on October 6, 1894 in Gostinin
(??) (Poland), died on October 13, 1966 in Rome. Painter, graphic
artist, stained-glass and stage designer, essayist on art (under the
pen-name of Palmenu Klavs).
Studies at the School of Imperial Society for the Fostering of Art
in St. Petersburg under N. Roerich, I. Bilibin (1909 - 1911), M. Bernstein's
Art Studio (1911-1913), J. Madernieks' Studio in Riga (1913-1914),
and private art schools in St. Petersburg (1914 - 1915). In the early
1920s, he visited Berlin, Rome, Florence, and Capri. In addition to
the influences of Constructivism, Cubism, and Russian Modernism, his
works attest to his interest in Italian art and Latvian folk art.
Participant in exhibitions of the Riga Artists' Group. Painter of
still-lifes, portraits, landscapes. A prominent book illustrator and
press graphic artist (The Son of Strength, 1923, and The Black Fairytales,
1925 by A. Brigadere, The Hedgehog's Skin, 1927, by V. Pludonis, Umurkumurs,
1932 by A. Caks, and others). His works feature refined stylization,
decorativeness, preference to everything exotic, ornateness and simplicity
of forms, clarity, purity, and primitivism. Author of sketches for
paintings on chinaware (manufactured at J. Jessens' and Kuznetsov's
Porcelain Works). In 1944, he emigrated to Sweden.
References: Latvian Fine Arts in 1860 - 1940. Riga, 1986; J.
Silins. Latvian Art in 1915 -1940, III. Stockholm, 1993; Dz. Andrusaite.
Niklavs Strunke in His Letters and Outside Them // Latvian Fine Arts.
Riga, 1988, pp. 93-115; N. Strunke. The Sacred Birch Grove. Stockholm,
1964; Niklavs Strunke's Exile Story, 1971.