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Aleksandrs APSITIS

(1880 - 1943)

Printmaker, painter


Aleksandrs Apsitis is solitary person in Latvian art. He has undeniable talent to drawing and comprehension of colouring. His work is realistic with features close to Art Noveau.


Aleksandrs Apsitis is mainly known as printmaker, author of newspaper, book and politic poster design. Many of his works are signed with pseudonyms Apsids, A. Petrovs, Čūska (“The Snake”), Skits, Oseņevs etc. During his time in Russia, he worked with magazines “Rodina”, “Niva”, “Zvezda” (1902-1906) and such book publishers as I. Sitin, A. Stupin and P. Soikin. He is an author of illustrations for many Russian literature classics e.g. A. Chekov, I. Turgenev, M. Gorky, M.Saltikof-Scedrin. He is an author of illustrations for anniversary edition of   L. Tolstoy “War and Peace” (1912) and first Russian children encyclopaedia (1912). During this time, he lived in St. Petersburg and Moscow.


After October Revolution he turned to drawing campaign posters – at the first years of Soviet regime he made approximately 50 politic posters (“Proletarians, on horses!” 1918; “Go for the battle of defence of Ural”, 119 etc.). Alksandrs Apsitis is considered as one of the most important founders of soviet political poster design. Many Russian artists later used principles he initiated.


Aleksandrs Apsitis studied art in Art Studio of L.Dmitriev-Kavkazsky (1898-1899). After returning to Latvia (1921) artist has worked in all fields mentioned above. He has painted figural compositions depicting different subjects, published drawings in magazines, worked with A.Jessen publishing company. He has worked with commercial graphic design (advertisement posters, greeting cards, candy paper design for V.Kuze factory).



Vilsons A.Māksla un arhitektūra biogrāfijās, part 1. Riga: “Latvijas enciklopēdija”, 1995, P. 29.–30.