Herbert Lukk (1892–1919)


Herbert Lukk is indeed known but up to now, he has still been a completely unopened chapter in the history of Estonian art. The reason for this is certainly his small body of creative work and the fact that several works of his already small body of work (about 50 paintings of his have been mentioned) are still concealed from the public. Lukk’s small body of creative works is in turn due to his premature death: fighting in the Estonian War of Independence, Senior Sergeant Lukk fell in battle in the second year of the war at the age of 27. (Incidentally, Lukk earned a national medal for his services in the war.)

Interestingly, relatively little is also known about Lukk’s life story. We know that he was born in a farm household in Kose-Uuemõisa located about fifty kilometres from Tallinn, studied art under the guidance of Ants Laikmaa, continued his studies in Helsinki in the latter half of 1910, developed into an artist, earned recognition, went to war, and was killed near Narva. Regardless of his youth, he managed to participate in several exhibitions and the Siuru grouping that brought together more active intellectuals repeatedly pointed him out, seeing qualities in Lukk’s creative work that had hitherto been missing in Estonian art.