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Profile of the Day: Johann Köler

Profile of the Day: Johann Köler

Johann Köler

Do you have Estonian roots? On this day in 1826, Estonian painter Johann Köler was born. A leader of the Estonian national awakening, Köler is considered to be the first professional painter of Estonia.

Köler was born March 8, 1826 in Lubjassaare farmstead in Ivaski, Vijandi County to a peasant family. Although the family had little money, Köler managed to attend school and eventually study painting at the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts.

Best known for his portrait paintings, Köler also worked as an art teacher for the Grand Duchess Maria Aleksandrovna, the daughter of Alexander II of Russia. During this time, a period in history that would be known as the Estonian Age of Awakening, Estonians began to see themselves as a nation that deserved the right to govern themselves. Köler used his connections with the imperial court to promote the cause of the Estonian people with intellectual leaders.

How are you related to Johann Köler? Explore his family tree and discover your connection to the Estonian artist.

View Johann Köler’s Geni Profile


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Image: Järvamaa Muuseum, Wikimedia Commons


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