Pranas Domšaitis

Sep 15, 1880 - Nov 14, 1965

Pranas Domšaitis was a Prussian Lithuanian painter.
Born in Cropiens, a village in the Kingdom of Prussia near its border with Lithuania, Domšaitis spent his first 27 years as a farmer. Under the sponsorship of Max Liebermann he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Königsberg in 1907, graduating in 1910; this was his first formal schooling. He then travelled to, and studied at, various European capitals; he was strongly influenced by a meeting with Edvard Munch. He befriended and travelled with the artist Fritz Ascher from Berlin, who drew a portrait of him in 1919/20. He spent World War I partially on his parents' farm and partially in military service, and then resumed his travels and artistic career. His successful exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, and Turkey were disastrously followed by his inclusion in a 1937 exhibition of Degenerate art and the removal of his works from German museums. In 1938 he began signing his pictures using the Lithuanian version of his name. He spent the war painting "harmless" still lifes. In 1949 the University of Cape Town in South Africa offered his wife, the singer Adelheid Armhold, a position as a senior lecturer.
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