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Elmar Kits Landscape 1957 oil, canvas 79.7 × 120.2 cm

In 1957, Elmar Kits worked in Saaremaa, where he had also painted a year earlier, for which reason it can be assumed that the flat perspective stretching into the distance of this landscape also derives from there. The painting’s composition is not dramatic. Objects that are usually added to make works more dynamic, or other types of landscape forms do not heighten the tension in this work. Instead it proceeds gently towards the horizon. It is possible that such a tranquil viewpoint also corresponded to Kits’s spiritual condition because it is believed that it was precisely at the end of the 1950s that Elmar Kits found a new and more personal approach to painting. Maastik [Landscape] has a colourful colouring, thus differing considerably from the dark and even somewhat muddy tones with which Kits painted mandatory Soviet themes in the first period of the 1950s. Now he is depicting an apolitical view of nature, being considerably more free, airier and more improvisational in both his brushing style and his use of colour. By that time, the earlier very strict rules that had been established for painting had also started easing up somewhat, for which reason we really can see the start of a new period in this landscape view.