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Amandus Adamson ( Maret Priima )

Amandus Adamson was born on 12th of november in 1855. He was an Estonian sculptor. Amandus Adamsons’ allegorical works in the spirit of academism, reflected his feelings for his country.

From childhood he excelled in wood-carving. His first serious work after graduating from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, where he studied (1876–81) under Alexander Bock (1829–95), was a carved frame for Johann Köler’s painting Tribute to Caesar (1883; Tallinn), commissioned by several Estonian art associations on the occasion of the coronation of Alexander III (reg 1881–94). This work was inspired by Adamson’s impressions of altars in 17th-century churches in Tallinn. Baroque motifs became an important feature of his work, as in his allegorical miniatures Dawn and Dusk (1895; Tallinn), carved from pear wood.

Adamson completed his studies in Paris, where he was influenced by the works of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Jules Dalou. A theme that runs through his smaller works is the sea, as in the Boat’s Last Breath (wax, 1899; biscuit, 1901, executed at the Imperial Porcelain Factory, St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.; marble, 1926, Tallinn, Salme Cult. Cent.). He also sculpted monumental works on the Baltic and Black Seas, such as the monument to the Sailors of the Battleship Russalka (1902; Tallinn) and a monument to Boats Lost at Sea (1904; Sevastopol’).

Alongside his romantic interpretation of the sea, Adamson also depicted the sea as a workplace, as in Fisherman from the Island of Muhu (plaster, 1892) and In Anxious Expectation (bronze, 1897; both Tallinn, A. Mus).

Amandus Adamson is one of the founders of Estonian national art.


Monument for Independence


The last sigh of the drowning ship. 1899