(1891 - 1920)
Jazeps Grosvalds is considered to be an initiator of Classic Modernism in the Latvian art of 20th century. In his work he has turned not only to the aesthetic or formal aspect, but also depiction of the idea and emotional experience. Within then contemporary art scene, the scenes of refugees, riflemen and war started new range of thematic. Artist has depicted the suffering of his nation, being far from the homeland as well as the dark side of the war without victory or mighty battle scenes.
Grosvalds has also painted cityscapes and depicted his impressions from Arabia. Within his art one can see good sense of colouring and talent for building composition. Grosvalds has combined the national theme with painting skills acquired in Western Europe, making series of artworks, later serving as example for other artists.
Jazeps Grosvalds was born in wealthy family of a lawyer, which was favouring aspect for developing his artistic talent. Already after graduating gymnasium artist travelled to Munich to study painting, later he went to Paris and other Western European art centres. Along with the First world war he returned to Riga, where he took active participation in artistic life and became a member of the artists’ union “Green Flower” (in 1919 this group changed their name to “The Expressionists” and in 1920 to “Riga Artists Group”).
In 1916 Grosvalds was mobilized and in 1918 he applied for British Army Corps of expedition and went to Arabia. There he spent his spare time drawing and painting watercolours. Due to trauma young artist was sent to London and after healing he travelled to Paris, where he worked as diplomat until his death in 1920.
Tidomane G. Grosvalds, Jāzeps // Māksla un arhitektūra biogrāfijās, I / Atb. red. A. Vilsons. R.: Latvijas enciklopēdija, 1995, P.183.