Paul Raud (1865—1930)
Paul Raud studied from 1888 to 1894 at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, which was by then already losing its importance due to its excessive conservativeness. That school, however, suited Paul Raud, unlike many other students, and he remained there until he completed a full course of study. After Düsseldorf, Raud spent another six months in Holland but then returned to his homeland to look after his ill mother. Thus Raud became the first professional Estonian artist who settled down to live in his homeland, yet his efforts to find nationalist art and organise artistic life were relatively tepid. He actively continued his creative work, focusing primarily on portraits. Some less constrained traits gradually emerged in his treatments but by and large, Paul Raud remained true to the precise drawing skill, scant colouring and realism required at the academy.
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oil/canvas on pasteboard
34.2 x 24.2 cm
Paul Raud frequently painted in nature, especially in summertime, also undertaking numerous painting excursions, for instance to the Pakri Islands, Muhu Island, in his home area around Rakvere, in Viru-Jaagupi, on the northern coast, and so on. He also travelled abroad, yet according to the recollections of the widow of Paul Raud’s twin brother Kristjan Raud, the landscapes there disappointed Paul since “the green tones of our Estonian landscape were reportedly completely missing there.”
Around 1910, Raud concentrated primarily on other genres, for which reason Park Pathway is comparatively exceptional. True, one other large format idyllic park landscape is known of that according to researchers transported the artist “away from everyday life to a land of dreams and secret yearnings”. That kind of aspiration can be seen in this work as well. Thus we see how Raud creates a more concealed place under tall and slender trees (a device that probably originated from art nouveau that recurred frequently in Paul Raud’s works).