The beginning of Estonian national art can be traced back to the 19th century. Up to that period, artistic works, even if rermarkable, could be essentially considered handmade works. Some sculptors, mainly stranger, stood out during the Renaissance, by realizing pulpits and sculptures exhibited in Tallinn’s Churches. At the beginning of 1800 there was the creation of the first Estonian School of Fine Arts.
As far as concerns visual arts one of the most important Estonian artist is Eduard Wiiralt, who was born near St. Petersburg in 1898. After receiving an artistic formation in Tallinn and Tartu he moved to Paris where he died in 1954. As a great traveller, he transferred into his works many themes deriving from his travels: from Saharan Africa to the landscapes of Northern European Regions.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Kristjan Raud realized the illustration of the national epic poem Kalevipoeg. One of the most important Estonian contemporary artists is Natrivolla whose works represent odd and coloured landscapes, trees, clouds and very few human figures.
Even if he was born in America, Mark Kalev Kostabi is one of the most famous contemporary Estonian artists. In 1988 he founded Kostabi World in New York. It is an art gallery annexed to a studio where more than thousand paintings are realized every year. Some of his works are exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum.
Nowadays different young artists live in Tallinn. Even if the city is not included among the world capitals of art, in Tallinn there is a remarkable number of galleries and exhibitions. Here you can find a list of the most interesting ones.
Tallinn City Museum - www.linnamuuseum.ee
Museum of Estonian Architecture - www.arhitektuurimuuseum.ee
It is internationally recnognized and hosts a permanent exhibtion of Estonian Architecture.
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
It is located in in the old town of Tallinn in a storehouse and includes works in leather, glass and ceramics.
Estonian History Museum - www.eam.ee
It is located in a 15th century building and includes a spectacular collection of Estonian history.
Museum of Occupation and Fight for Freedom - www.okupatsioon.ee
Estonian Theatre and Music Museum - www.tmm.ee
Kadriorg Art Museum - www.ekm.ee/kadriorg
It is located in a lovely Baroque palace and represents an important stage during a holiday in Tallinn.
Gallery Aatrium - www.galeriiaatrium.ee
ArtDepoo Gallery - www.artdepoo.com
City Gallery - www.kunstihoone.ee
Vaal Gallery - www.vaal.ee
Tallinn Art Hall - www.kunstihoone.ee