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Madonna with a Machine Gun by Karlis Padegs

    Madonna with a Machine Gun by Karlis Padegs

    Madonna with a Machine Gun by Karlis Padegs was created in 1932. The painting is in Latvian National Museum of Art and is made of oil on canvas.

    The whole of Riga society used to talk about the singular visual image of artist Kārlis Padegs. This would have long been forgotten were it not for his unique talent. The power of the grotesque seen in the modernist Padegs’ expressive drawings, watercolours and paintings has no parallel in Latvian art. Although he was only a small child at the time of the First World War, the denouncement of destruction and brutality, and the anti-war theme became dominant in his work. Only he could have had the idea to paint a woman holding a machine gun as a challenge to common sense.

    About the Artist: Latvian artist Kārlis Padegs was born in Torņakalns, a workers district of Riga. He died in Riga in April 1940 from tuberculosis, aged 28. He studied under Latvian painter Vilhelms Purvītis at the Latvia Art Academy. His best-known work is Madonna with Machine Gun, which belongs to the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga. He was a refined romantic, Riga dandy of the 1930ies. Padegs acquired an original style and introduced shocking themes that sharply contrasted with the usually lyrical or heroic Latvian art of his time. He favored themes of modern urban life, antiwar subjects, ideal dream world, and sarcastic self-portraits… read more

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