Landscape With River

August Jansen Landscape With River 1940s oil, canvas 48.5 × 70 cm

The first half of the 1940’s offered August Jansen somewhat more opportunity for vacationing than usual. As an avid organiser of artistic life, he had been the point person of various initiatives during the preceding decades. In the 1940’s, however, he went back to work as a teacher.

Jansen has depicted this subject a great deal over the years. The traditional Estonian farm complex situated in the bosom of nature is not a fantasy but rather clearly has a specific location. Namely, Jansen often spent his summer vacations in Põllküla (20-30 kilometres from Tallinn), where Evald Puhk, one of the most important entrepreneurs of the 1930’s, allowed him to use his cottage. Both the cottage and the watermill belonging to Puhk were situated by the river and this work was probably completed somewhere in that area.

It has been stressed that Jansen started using colours differently than he had until then in the early 1940’s: colours no longer contrast each other sharply. Instead, he seeks a colouring borne by a uniform, prevailing primary tone.