- Niklavs Strunke 1894–1966
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 543 x 690 mm
- Purchased 1939
Niklāvs Strunke 1894-1966
N05033 The Town of Krāslava
Inscribed 'N. Strunke' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 26 3/4 (54 x 68)
Purchased from the artist with the aid of Lord Bossom and the Latvian Government 1939
Exh: Art de la Lettonie, Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris, January-February 1939 (133); Art of Latvia, RIBA, London, May 1939 (122)
Repr: Niklāva Strunkes Trimdas Grāmata (Daugava 1971), p.125, dated 1938
Krāslava, a small town of some 4,000 inhabitants, is in what was then south-eastern Latvia, close to the border with Poland. According to Mrs Olga Strunke (letter of 28 November 1975), her husband spent every summer travelling through regions of Latvia on foot or by whatever mechanised means were available, and on each occasion when he returned to Riga he would say that he had discovered a new and exciting part of Latvia. 'This is how he came to do many paintings of Krāslava, Daugavpils and other cities which he painted in their natural surroundings, and which had captivated him because of their mythology and folklore, mythical church celebrations and provincial simplicities.'
The artist said in April 1953 that this picture was painted in 1937, but it is reproduced in the posthumous book of his writings with the date 1938. Mrs Strunke explains that it was begun in 1937 and finished in 1938. Strunke also painted some similar pictures of Krāslava in 1939.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.710-11, reproduced p.710