TIDEMANIS, Janis Ferdinands

(1897-1964), Latvia
  • Name: TIDEMANIS, Janis Ferdinands
  • Born: 1897
  • Died: 1964
Janis Ferdinands Tidemanis

At the age of 14 Janis Tidemanis as a ship boy went to Arhangelsk, and after that to the USA, where he learned in New York and Cleveland schools of art for a while (in Cleveland two years (since 1912) he learned with the Professor Nagi).
In 1920 he returned to Latvia, Riga.
In 1922, the artist went to Belgium together with his wife. He graduated from the Royal Art Academy of Antwerp (1927) and achieved a portrait and figurative compositions painter degree with his diploma work “Sad”. Tidemanis improved his skills at the Highest Art Institute of Antwerp with I. Opsomer, and at the same time he also mastered ofort technique.
His paintings were strongly influenced by Opsomer and Ensor.
In 1936, artist returned to Riga.
In 1944, he emigrated to Germany, after that to Switzerland, in 1948 – to Montreal, Canada, but in 1953 – he moved to Toronto.
Tidemanis took part in exhibitions since 1928. Solo exhibitions were organized in Riga (1929, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1938), Antwerp (1931, 1932, 1936), Kaunas, Paris (both in 1931), Tallinn (1936) and Canada. Memorial exhibitions were organized in Toronto (1969), Riga (1982, 1997) and Valmiera (1987).
The artist painted big cities – Riga, Amsterdam, Brussels, port views, carnivals, markets, views of inns, portraits, nudes and still life.
He got 1st prize in Belgium (exposition of 10th Olympic games in Los Angeles), for his work “Swimmers over the canal” in 1932. Tidemanis got a grant in Belgium’s jubilee (100 years) exhibition for painting “Spring” in 1934. He fitted out Latvian pavilion in the World exhibition of household achievements, and got Grand Prix diploma for wall paintings in 1935. The artist was awarded with Belgium king’s Leopold II order in 1936.


Born on October 1, 1897 in Ventspils (Latvia), died on April 12, 1964 in Toronto (Canada). Painter. One of the rare Modernists among Latvian painters of the 1930s. An adventurous Bohemian, as a shipmate's hand he reached America, where attended art schools in New York and Cleveland. Professional education at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (1922-1927) and the Higher Institute for Arts under I.Opsomer (until 1934). His style bears kinship to Belgian Expressionism, although he maintains interest in the old masters. The style of his paintings is characterized by expressive, vital and temperamental brush-stroke, he uses effective contrasts of light and shade, dark backgrounds, delegating color the main role in the picture. One of the first artists who introduced the theme of a big city in his paintings: he painted scenes of harbors, market places, boulevards, carnivals, crowds in the streets, and sports activities. His wife is portrayed as a modern city woman. City spaces, figural compositions, portraits, still-lifes (flowers) are among his favorite genres. Preference to oil and large etchings. As of 1944, he lived in emigration (Germany, Switzerland, and Canada).
References: J. Silins. Latvian Art in 1915-1940, I. Stockholm, 1988; T. Suta. Confession // Maksla, 1984, No. 1; R. Lapina. Janis Ferdinands Tidemanis // Studija, 1998, Nr.2.

Title Medium Date Size (cm) Price
Porträt eines K...
Oil on canvas201560x50€ 1,925Picture
Blumenbouquet i...
Oil on canvas201460x50€ 4,105Picture
Figures on a be...
Oil on canvas201240x54€ 10,625Picture
Signature by: TIDEMANIS, Janis Ferdinands
Signature by: TIDEMANIS, Janis Ferdinands
Signature by: TIDEMANIS, Janis Ferdinands
Signature by: TIDEMANIS, Janis Ferdinands
Signature by: TIDEMANIS, Janis Ferdinands