Leonīds Āriņš was a painter, a draughtsman, founder of a museum and expander of its collections; teacher, observer and assessor. No single-word description will do.
Āriņš’ manner of painting, has always been independent. He was guided only by his own feelings, in no way echoing any official views or artistic standards.
Holding on to his independent thinking and free creative spirit, the artist worked in spite of the incomprehension he received from the public.
From 1924 onwards Āriņš kept a diary, which in the entry for 15 March 1932 he calls “bookkeeping of life’s lessons, experiences and thoughts”. The terse, laconic, at times poetically charged sentences or just strings of words create an impression of an irretrievably bygone time, which still had to be acknowledged.
Art historian Gundega Cēbere has based her survey on Leonīds Āriņš and his oeuvre on these diaries which have captured and preserved things that have been found most important subjectively but are also a vivid testimony of the age. The book has been supplemented with colour reproductions of Āriņš’ paintings and drawings.