Painter Johann Köler, 175th birth anniversary

Special cancellation:
10.03.2001 - Viljandi

Date of Issue : Februar 27, 2001
Designer : Lembit Lõhmus
Denomination : 2 x 4 kr 40 s
Perforation : 14:13¾
Size of Souvenir Sheet : 58 x 83
Printing Process : Offset
Printing House : AS Vaba Maa
Quantity Issued : 100 710
Order Number : 214-01-2001
First Day Cover Number : 2001-5
Eesti Post : Painter Johann Köler, 175th birth anniversary

Johann Köler (1826–1899), the son of peasant parents, graduated from the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1855 to become a founder of an Estonian national school of painting. In 1857 he travelled through a number of European countries and in 1958 went to Rome where he stayed several years, painting vivid landscapes, scenes of Italian life and portraits.

Elected Academician by the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1961, he settled in St Petersburg and worked as an art teacher, including in the Tsar's family as well as the Academy of Arts, and gradually won recognition as a painter of expressive portraits of prominent people.

Köler's artistic prime coincided with the peak of the Estonian national movement in the 1860s and he took advantage of his position in the Russian capital to promote the cause of his people. Some of his best pictures depict the life of Estonian peasants.

Reproduced in the souvenir sheet are two of his best pictures: Girl on the Spring (1858–62), and Eve of the Pomegranate (1879–80, fragment).

More Information:

  • Virtual sightseeing in Viljandi
  • The Birth of the National History of Art (Juta Kivimäe)

  • preview STAMPS 2001 next