The series “Classics of Latvian Art” presents a book about sculptor Kārlis Jansons (1896–1986).
Sculptor Kārlis Jansons is known as the author of ardent figures, rich in expressive muscular motion; he has worked mainly in the field of monumental and memorial sculpture. The monuments created by the artist can be seen in several cities of Latvia, however they have also suffered mutilation and destruction due to 20th century changes of power. Nowadays, his son, sculptor Andrejs Jansons, has restored the most outstanding of them – the monument to the liberators of Jelgava “Lāčplēsis and the Black Knight” (1932) and the “Māra of Latgale” monument in Rēzekne (1939).
We can also see Kārlis Jansons’ memorial works in Latvian cemeteries, especially in Riga Forest Cemetery where there are 21 works. The best known of them is the memorial to the First President of Latvia, Jānis Čakste (1935). The artist has also worked in autonomous sculpture making portraits and figurative compositions. The influence of Michelangelo’s and Auguste Rodin’s sculptural principles is felt in the artistic style of Kārlis Jansons, his sculptures are characterized by pathetic emotionality, vitality of athletic bodies, and detailed form.
The author of the book has tried to capture all of Kārlis Jansons’ creative heritage by telling the family history of the ancient, family-owned farmstead Siļķes near the Gauja River in Cēsis, where the artist lived and worked all his life and where the summer practice of students from the Sculpture Department of the Latvian Academy of Art was taking place for many years.
The series “Classics of Latvian Art” includes books of medium size, offering an easily perceptible information about Latvian classical artists and their works. Similar to the “STUDIJA Library” the series “Classics of Latvian Art” comprises bilingual (Latvian/English), richly illustrated publications. An attractive supplement at the end of each book is a timeline where the life of Latvian artists can be viewed within the context of world events, revealing connections, parallels or just interesting coincidences.