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Northern Coast

Richard Uutmaa Northern Coast 1945–1950 oil, plywood 65 × 82 cm

This work is a large format preliminary painting for the gigantic painting Fishermen on Estonia’s Northern Coast (1945, 111 × 155 cm), which is in the collection of the Tartu Art Museum. This work is relatively well known. It participated in the select exhibition at the Tallinn Art Hall in 1945 preceding the union-wide art exhibition of the Soviet Union, and also at an exhibition held at the Estonian SSR State Art Museum in 1982. It has also been reproduced. The differences between the two works are primarily in the degree of elaboration since the composition and the placement of characters and buildings are more or less the same. The abundance of figures and the arranged nature of the preparatory painting allow the presumption that this work was also completed later on in the studio on the basis of preparatory drawings. Mai Levin writes: “In the painting Fishermen on Estonia’s Northern Coast, the people going about their business at the boundary between the land and the water are situated frontally before the viewer on the background of the Altja fishing net sheds, creating a festive and representative effect. A couple of years ago, the large-format preparatory painting of this work came to light. The painting became known in 1945. It was also reproduced in Russian periodicals.”