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Paul Kondase portree

Paul Kondas was born on 31 March 1900, in Uue-Põltsamaa parish, in Pauastvere (now renamed Uue-Põltsamaa), as a son of a farmer. In years 1921-23 he studied law and commerce at Tartu University. Then he left the university and obtained an education in pedagogy at courses in Valga in 1924.

He worked as a teacher and a schoolmaster in Suure-Jaani, Viljandi and Raudna until 1961.

Paul Kondas believed in the beneficent and life-changing power of art. This explains his lifelong devotion to fine arts (painting, music, literature, theatre, and sculpture). Due to the practical needs of the school stage, he even developed his own theory of the theatre. Kondas also used to write poetry and plays, he could play well enough different musical instruments (a violin, a grand piano, a cello, a flute, a trombone ect). Besides that, he was also an enthusiastic fisherman and hunter and often loved to spend time in nature.

His naive creation was born during the time of the Soviet occupation, which did not look favourably upon occurrences deviating from the official art policy. Kondas created his naive works from the mid-1950s to early 1980s (about 40 paintings). His paintings took a long time to develop and were created in seclusion. In form, Kondas’s paintings express childlike simplicity and realistic abundance in detail; in subject, however, they have several layers and are often allegorical. In many pictures, we can observe the artist’s understanding of Paganism; they depict mythical places, characters and events from traditional folk tales.

During his life he was presented, however, included among 700 other artists in the World Encyclopedia of Naive Art in 1984. The audience of his hometown was able to see his paintings only at the end 1988. In 1979, the Estonian filmmaker Mark Soosaar made the documentary ‘Weekend Painters,’ which also featured Paul Kondas. The artist died in Viljandi on 7 August 1985.

The Viljandi Museum bought 26 of his paintings (6 of the paintings were double-sided) in 1986.

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