Karl Pärsimägi (1902–1942)


Karl Pärsimägi perished at the hands of the Nazis when he was only 40 years old, yet primarily for the body of work that he completed in the 1930’s, he is often named as one of the most sensitive and at the same time bold artists in Estonian art in terms of his use of colour. He had begun his studies at the Pallas school at the age of 17 already and during the subsequent decades, he evolved into a modernist who first and foremost stressed the intrinsic values of colour itself, for which reason he has also been called Estonia’s Matisse. His work ranged from nudes to portraits, from paintings of interiors to views of landscapes. Pärsimägi went to Paris in 1937 and since he did not leave the city in time after the Second World War broke out, he was arrested and executed in a concentration camp.