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Birthday of legendary Latvian painter and public figure

Džemma Skulme

The story of the artist Džemma Skulme is a story of an artistic family and several generations of artists, each a significant identity, an outstanding master and person of influence in their time and space. In the very center of this family stands its most distinctive figure, artist Džemma Skulme.

Born in Riga in 1925 on the 20st of September. Lived a colorful life which cannot be told in a small blog…Unfortunately she passed away in 2019. Here are a few things about this great lady.

She graduated from Riga State Gymnasium Nr. 1 and Monumental Painting department of the Art Academy of Latvia, later studied also in Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in St Petersburg.

During the 1950s Džemma Skulme gained popularity as a book illustrator,  utilising techniques, such as ink washes, sanguine (red chalk) , and watercolor (aquarelle). 

Since 1970s she had developed caryatid theme revealing woman`s ethical and spiritual force. 

Džemma Skulme was one of the most influential figures in Soviet Cultural life, elected to a USSR Supreme Soviet she gained world popularity during ”  “Perestroika” when in 1987 during the vote to exclude reform supporter Boris Yeltsin from Soviet Presidium she abstained from voting  as the only one from 1500 members and for the first time someone had dared to do that and go against majority and usual “unanimous vote”…

She was also a key figure during 3rd awakening movement end of 80s and beginning of 90s

Her achievements amongst many are Honorary member Of Latvian Academy of Sciences, she has been awarded Honorary Doctorate by the Art Academy of Latvia and Commander of the Latvian Order of the Three Stars.

Here are some of her works.