Konrad Mägi

Konrad Vilhelm Mägi (1 November 1878 – 15 August 1925) was an Estonian painter, primarily known for his landscape work. He was one of the most colour-sensitive Estonian painters of the first decades of the 20th century, and Mägi's works on motifs of the island of Saaremaa are the first modern Estonian nature paintings.

Konrad Mägi
Konrad Mägi.jpg
Konrad Mägi (photo c. 1898-1905)
Konrad Vilhelm Mägi

(1878-11-01)November 1, 1878
DiedAugust 15, 1925(1925-08-15) (aged 46)

Life and worksEdit

Mägi received his elementary art education from the drawing courses of the German Artisans' Society of Tartu (1899–1902.) At the same time, he was keenly engaged in theater, violin, and various sports.

Mägi continued his art education as an unattached student in Saint Petersburg (1903–1905), studying under Amandus Adamson. In the autumn of 1907, he went to Paris. There Mägi studied at a free academy. From 1908 to 1910, he lived in Norway. In 1912, Mägi returned to Tartu, where he worked as an art teacher.

In Åland, he created delicate plant vignettes in the style of Art Nouveau: Kahekesi (Two together; 1908; China ink drawing). In Paris, Mägi was influenced by Impressionism and Fauvism, which had a significant impact on his colours: Lilleline väli majakesega (A flower field with a little house; 1908–1909), Norra maastik männiga (A Norwegian landscape with a pine; 1910).

From 1918, the influence of Expressionism is manifest, fostered by Mägi's extreme sensitivity and emotional response to the anxious times: Pühajärv (Lake Püha); (1918–1920), Otepää maastik (Landscape of Otepää; (1918–1920). Also influenced by Expressionism are his big figure compositions Pietà (1919), Kolgata (Golgatha) (1921).

Mägi's new artistic period, begun on a trip to Italy, brought calmer tempers: Varemed Capril (Ruins in Capri; 1922–1923). Along with nature pictures, he painted flowers and portraits. Mägi's mostly beautiful female models express the Art Nouveau ideal of beauty: Holsti (1916). In his later portraits from the 1920s, a more serious temper is expressed: Madonna (1923–1924).


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