Voldemāram Irbem – 130

Voldemar Irbe - 130

The painter Voldemārs Irbe was born on November 13, 1893 in Beļava Parish as the seventh child in a very religious but poor family with many children.

In 1904, the family moved to Riga, where Voldemārs began his studies at the parish school of the Riga Ascension Latvian Orthodox Church, then at the Drawing and Painting School of the Riga Painters' Aid Society.

In 1911, Voldemars began to study in the drawing and painting workshop of Jūlija Madernieka.

In the 20s and 30s of the 20th century, almost every resident of Riga knew him. Irbītis was very social. He bought newspapers every morning to find out what was going on. Attended everything he could attend: rallies, lectures, funeral ceremonies, important court proceedings, visits of important persons to Riga and other public events. Interested in everything happening in literature, art, music, visited every painting exhibition. He had his own opinion about everything.

He worked mainly in the pastel technique, painted landscapes, mostly views of the outskirts of the city, genre works, also portraits. Painted on black or gray cardboard, as he claimed, to bring out the vibrancy of the colors.

He has held several solo exhibitions, exhibited and sold his works in the exhibitions-markets he opened himself, which he advertised in newspapers and in the brochures of his articles or reports published by himself. He painted and sold his works on the streets for a small amount of money.

V. Irbe's creative heritage contributed to the growth of Latvian pastel painting in the 20th century. in the 70s.

In the photos: Voldemārs Irbe. / Voldemārs Irbe in Vermandārzā. 20th century 30s

In the picture: V. Irbe's painting "In the Market". 1939 (cardboard, pastel, tempera)


Knāviņa, Valda. Voldemar Irbe. Riga: Neputns, 2015
Voldemārs Irbe: memories, insights, observations, stories, facts / - Riga: Preses nams, 1995
Popularly called Barefoot Irbīti - he walked not only barefoot, but also rose on his toes and leaned forward - his walking resembled the running of a partridge.