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Jaan Grünberg (1889–1969)

Jaan Grünberg can probably be considered one of the most French artists in the Estonian art of painting influenced by Frenchness in the 1930’s. Grünberg has, for instance, admitted in his memoirs that even though he began his studies in art at the Pallas Art School (at the age of 31 incidentally), it was not until he lived in Paris that he understood what being an artist means. He lived in Paris many times since 1926 for a total of nine years altogether. Thus the greater portion of his creative work is in private collections there, all the more so if we can believe the words of Elmar Kits that Grünberg’s works were reportedly remarkably popular in Parisian galleries (more popular than Wiiralt, for instance). Yet that is not what makes Grünberg a “French” artist.