A considerable amount of Estonian folk poetry, which is mainly lyrical, has been collected. Folk poetry has continuously influenced Estonian lyricism and in part formed the basis for FR Kreutzwald’s national epic “Kalevipoeg” (1857-61). The period of national awakening (1860–85) is characterized by the influence of late German romance. The social struggle was reflected from the turn of the century in realistic novels. In the early 1900’s, contacts were made with Scandinavian and Western European literature. The lyrics as well as the short stories were expressive and symbolic. The Lyricism of Independence (1918-40) possesses intellectual acumen (Gustav Suits) and pantheistic sentiment (Marie Under). The epic poetry is characterized by a humorous undertone with self-irreverent features. A central location occupied the AH.
- Countryaah: Population and demographics of Estonia, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.
In the autumn of 1944, about 2/3 of the leading Estonian writers fled from the Soviet army to the West (a large part to Sweden). Stalinist terror and its aftermath (1945–60) slowed literary development.
Literature in the period before the liberation from the Soviet Union lived on in exile, where the lyricism partly got political direction (Kalju Lepik), while the narrative literature expanded to cover the whole of European history (Karl Ristikivi).
After independence, Estonian literature was revitalized in the 1990’s. Among the most prominent writers active in the early 2000’s are the novelist Jaan Kross and the lyricists Jaan Kaplinski, Viivi Luik and Doris Kareva.
Estonian literature is usually less serious than Scandinavian and has common features with Central European literature, e.g. Polish, Czech and Hungarian.
Drama and theater
The amateur theater has enjoyed great popularity since the turn of the century. The professional theaters have played contemporary European drama. The most popular domestic theater genre consists of satirical comedies with witty, popular dialogue.
Following the liberation from the Soviet occupation, Estonian theater has sought a new identity in closer proximity to international theater. New foreign, mainly Anglo-Saxon drama has been seriously introduced, which has been inspiring for the eagerly trying new generations. Among younger playwrights are Jaan Tätte and directors Jaanus Rohumaa and Mati Unt.
A 1908 journal film about Swedish King Gustav V’s state visit to Estonia is probably the first domestic production. The photographer Johannes Pääsuke (1892-1918) recorded in the 1910’s an unknown number of films, mainly documentaries but also feature films, including. the comedy “Karujaht Pärnumaal” (‘Bear hunting in Pärnumaa’, 1914).
During the 1920’s, a feature film production began, with Konstantin Märskä (1896–1951) and Theodor Luts (1896–1980) as the main names. The latter’s “Noored Bullet” (“Young Eagles”, 1927) also reached beyond the borders of the country.
When the depression reached the country, the state-owned film company Eesti Kultuurfilm (1931-40) became the most important producer, especially of documentaries. During the occupation of the Soviet Union, Eesti Kultuurfilm was renamed in 1947 to Tallinna Kinostuudi and in 1963 was given the name Tallinnfilm. Most propaganda films were produced, but Stalin’s death in 1953 facilitated both censorship and production control. An internationally successful feature film was “Kevade” (“Spring”, 1969) directed by Arvo Kruusement (born 1928) following a novel by Oskar Luts (1887-1953).
At independence in 1991, Tallinnfilm was transformed into a state company for restoration, distribution and also cinema operation. Instead, the film foundation Eesti Filmi Sihtasutus was founded, which has since been the most important financier of Estonian film. After a few lean years, Sulev Keedus (born 1957) “Georgica” (1998) became a festival-praised film historical turning point.
During the 2000’s, production has been on 5-10 feature films per year.
Estonia’s art history really begins in the middle of the 19th century and has developed in parallel with the national currents that affected cultural life in Estonia until the country became independent in 1918. The art before 1850 is characterized mainly by influence from Germany, Sweden and Russia. During the latter half of the 15th century, the sculptor Bernt Notke was active in Tallinn. In 1469, Michel Sittow was born in Tallinn. Karl V. Most of Sittow’s paintings are today in Europe’s major museums. At the end of the 16th century, Arent Passer created several significant Renaissance sculptures in Tallinn. From Estonia also came JH Wedekind who among others. performed portraits of Karl XII.
The pioneer of national Estonian art is Johan Köler (1826–99). He was educated at the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg. Later he became strongly involved in the fate of his country, which was also expressed in some of his painting. His most famous work in Estonia is the portrait of his parents as well as the absid painting in the Karlskyrkan in Tallinn. Within the sculpture, August Weizenberg (1837–1921) is stylistic. He retrieved several of his motifs from the Estonian national post Kalevipoeg. Also important is the sculptor Amandus Adamson (1855-1929), creator of the Russian castle statue in Tallinn.
In the early 1900’s, Estonian art gained new vitality. In 1903, Ants Laikmaa (1866-1942) opened a painting school in Tallinn, and in 1904 Kristjan Raud (1865-1943) did the same in Tartu. In 1912, the writer and artist group Young Estonia organized a permanent art exhibition in Tallinn. Laikmaa and Raud and Nikolai Triik tried in different ways to express a national character in the art. Raud is best known for his expressive illustrations for the new edition of Kalevipoeg in 1935. Laikmaa and Triik were well-known portraits. The most significant landscape painter was Konrad Mägi (1878–1925) at the beginning of the 20th century). With Ado Vabbe, in 1913 Cubism and Futurism were introduced into Estonian art. Vabbe, a personal friend of Kandinsky, had studied in Munich and Italy. During the 1920’s he was the leading force at the Pallas Art School founded in Tartu. The formation of the state of Estonia brought about changes in the art world. There were strong impressions of German expressionism and of cubism. In 1924, the first cubist exhibition in Tartu was organized. Among the artists who broke through in the 1920’s are Eduard Ole and Adamson-Eric.
The advent of the Pallas art school in 1919 had an enormous impact on the development of Estonian art. There, most of the artists who dominated art life were trained until the outbreak of the Second World War. Some of them fled to Sweden in 1944 and continued their business here. This includes Karin Luts, Jaan Grünberg, Endel Kõks and Eric Haamer. Among those who remained in Estonia are Aleksander Vardi, Kristjan Teder, Richard Sagrits, Andrus Johani and Kaarel Liimand. Estonia’s internationally best-known artist is the graphic artist Eduard Wiiralt. After studying in his home country, he settled in Paris to return to Estonia towards the end of the 1930’s. His technically versatile work offers widely varied motifs, from wind-driven existences in Paris cafes to exotic animals in the Jardin des Plantes. In his Estonian motifs he clearly expressed his love for his homeland. The graphics have always had a prominent place in Estonian art; among the most famous graphic artists are Viive Tolli and Mare Vint.
The Soviet takeover had a negative impact on Estonian art. During the Stalin period, the artists who did not submit to the regulated requirements waived to practice their art. In the early 1950’s, however, several paintings and sculptures were added that paid tribute to the new regime. In the 1960’s, Estonian artists freed themselves from the Soviet ideal of art in order to rediscover the possibilities of modern art. In the mid-1960’s, the ANK 64 group was formed, which gained a great deal of influence. Leaders were Tõnis Vint and Jüri Arrak (born 1936)). With the exhibition SOUP 69, the artists Ando Keskküla and Andres Tolts introduced the American pop art in Estonia. Towards the end of the 1980’s came the group Ryhm T, whose central figure Raoul Kurvitz also garnered attention outside Estonia for his performance art.
The Estonian art scene in the early 2000’s is characterized by experiments with new genres. Jaan Toomik (born 1961) has been one of the country’s foremost video artists since the 1990’s and also works as a painter. Mention can also be made of the multimedia artist Marko Mäetamm (born 1965) and Liina Siib (born 1963), who is engaged in photography and video art.
Of prehistoric construction, Estonia has traces of simple slat-built houses with circular or oval planes. Several bailouts are also known; these were surrounded by embankments, erected in northern and western Estonia as cold-walled limestone walls and in southern Estonia as stone-encroached earth embankments.
In the early Middle Ages, great variations in architecture occurred, especially in church building. Mostly occupied Western European building houses accounted for the architectural design of the Estonian churches of the 13th and 13th centuries. In the western parts the influence of neighboring Gotland also appeared. Local traditions and features developed mainly in the material technology: in northern and western Estonia, limestone was used as building material, while brick and natural stone predominated in the southern parts of the country (Livland). The church in Valjala, which with its single-storey longhouse without tower created tradition in western Estonia, as well as the churches in Kaarma and Ridala in their early Gothic form, exemplified in Westphalia, while the churches in Karja and Põide with their abundant plant decor in the timber refer to Naumburg and Boge church on Gotland. In central Estonia, during the second half of the 13th century, a group of distinctive churches were built with three-storey long houses and slender round pillars (Ambla, Koeru, Türi). The oldest brick churches in southern Estonia (Nõo, the Nikolaik church in Pärnu) are associated with immigrants from Riga to Westphalia. The late Gothic era in Estonia began in the late 1300’s with the castle of Kuressaare and the abyss of the Valjala Church, both probably by Central European (Bohemian) masters, as well as the cathedral and the St. John’s Church in Tartu.
In Tallinn, in the 13th century, the short, wide, from Westphalia, the hall church influenced the spread (St. Olof’s Church and Nicholas Church), as well as the long vaulted hall building (St. Catherine’s monastery church). The Dominican building tradition has been a model for several of the 13th century rural churches in northern Estonia (Keila, Lüganuse, Jõhvi) and subsequently also for other monastery churches in Tallinn. Tallinn’s building operations were intensified in the 1400’s, when foreign buildings were replaced by indigenous artisans and masters whose traditions became crucial not only for the local Late Medieval architecture (the Town Hall, Stora Gillet, the Nikolaus and Saint Olof churches, but also in the renovation of the building). rural churches in northern Estonia (Haljala, Viru-Jaagupi, Väike Maarja).
The Renaissance’s first expression in Estonia came in the 1520’s, but repeated wars led to a decline in construction in the country. During the Swedish era after 1629, bastions and fortresses were erected, in particular. in Kuressaare, Narva, Pärnu, Tallinn and Tartu, by the Swede Erik Dahlbergh and others. In the latter half of the 17th century, during a period of peace, the profitable construction business in Estonia gained a boost, especially in the cities. A number of palaces and administrative buildings were erected, e.g. the town halls of Kuressaare (1670) and Narva (1668-71). During this period, Narva was built up as a uniform Baroque city after Dutch and Swedish role models. After a new period of piety, construction flourished from the second half of the 1770’s. large castles and mansions (Põltsamaa, Suuremõisa on Dagö) were erected in Late Baroque, Rococo or Early Classicism. The architects were mainly of German descent, such as J. von Schultz, who designed the administrative buildings on the Tallinn Cathedral (1767–76) and also influenced the manor architecture in northern Estonia (Ääsmäe, Saue and Roosna-Alliku). Tartu was built after the Great Fire in 1775 according to the ideals of Baroque and Classicalism and under the direction of the German architect JH Walther (including the town hall 1782–89). In the early 1800’s, the main building at the University of Tartu was built in a classic style (1803–09 by JW Krause). Walther (including the Town Hall 1782–89). In the early 1800’s, the main building at the University of Tartu was built in a classic style (1803–09 by JW Krause). Walther (including the Town Hall 1782–89). In the early 1800’s, the main building at the University of Tartu was built in a classic style (1803–09 by JW Krause).
In northern Estonia, the construction of representative mansions continued into the 19th century, for example. Höreda (c. 1812), Riisipere (1819-21) and Kolga (1820’s). Of the various architectural styles of historicism that began to take hold in Estonia from the 1830’s onwards, the neo-gothic got the greatest spread and mainly then with elements of Hansagotic forms, among other things. in the castle in Sangaste (1874–81) by OP Hippius. The first generation of Estonian architects was educated in Riga and picked up their role models in Finnish architecture. Buildings by several of these architects (eg Georg Hellat, Karl Burman) are linked to the Art Nouveau around the turn of the century 1900. Many buildings were also designed by Finns such as Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen. In the late 1920’s, the functionalist design language of Estonian architecture spread and reached its peak in the 1930’s, with e.g. the Tallinn Art House by Edgar Kuusik and Anton Soans (1934) and the Strandhotellet in Pärnu by Olev Siinmaa and Anton Soans (1937).
The architecture of Estonia was greatly influenced by Soviet norms and role models after the Second World War. Establishments by Estonian architects include the magnificent songstress in Tallinn by Alar Kotli, Henno Sepmann and E. Paalmann (1960) and a sailing sports center in Pirita by Henno Sepmann, Peep Jänes, H. and K. Looveer and Ants Raid, built before the Olympics The regatta 1980. Dominant in Estonian architecture during the 1980’s was the architect Raine Karp, who among other things. designed the city hall and the new national library in Tallinn. After Estonia’s independence in 1991, architecture is dominated by postmodernism and architects such as Vilen Künnapu and A. Padrik have won international success in architectural competitions.
Since the beginning of the 2000’s, the city centers in Tallinn and Tartu were exposed to fairly unregulated construction of high-rise buildings, primarily for offices and banks. At the same time, domestic architecture has been substantially revitalized by architects such as Emil Urbel (born 1959), Ilmar Valdur (born 1970) and Markus Kaasik (born 1970), who are happy to work with functional solutions and traditional materials.
One of the oldest musical expressions in the Finnish-Ugric area is the runo song. The genre dominated in Estonia until about 1850, when it began to be replaced by the rhymed folk song. Old folk musical instruments are antelope, nap, reed pipe, bagpipe, mungi and kantele (in Estonian cinnamon). Among the Swedish-speaking population, who lived on the islands outside Estonia until 1944, age-old music traditions survived, among other things. games on string harp. The choral song from Runö has been published on a record of the Swedish song archive.
Art music was originally linked to the church and the higher German-speaking stands. The songs of the Reformation gained a foothold especially during the Swedish era (1561-1721). The founding of the University of Tartu in 1632 was of great importance to music as well. In the 19th century, composers like Aleksander Kunileid (1845-75) created a conscious Estonian music culture. Extremely significant became the large national singing and dance parties, which have been organized since 1869 and over the years gathered a large part of the country’s many choirs before a huge audience. Towards the end of the 1980’s, the song festival gained a direct political significance as a driving force for the “singing revolution”, which paved the way for Estonia’s restored independence.
During the latter part of the 19th century, many composers applied to the conservatory in Saint Petersburg, among others. Constantin Türnpu (1865–1927), Rudolf Tobias; with his large oratorio “Des Jona Sendung” he has increasingly become regarded as a portal figure in Estonian music history), vocal composer Mart Saar (1882-1963), Juhan Aavik (1884-1982), Cyrillus Kreek and the not least important teacher Heino Or.
In 1906, the theaters in Tallinn (Estonia) and Tartu (Vanemuine), both opened in 1870, were given full-time ensembles. At the turn of the last century the first Estonian symphony orchestras were also formed. The music conservatory in Tallinn with Artur Kapp (1878–1952) as composition teacher, as well as the music school in Tartu, with Heino Or was of great importance. The first Estonian opera “Vikerlased” (‘Vikings’) by Evald Aav (1900–39) was performed in 1928, and the leading symphonist Eduard Tubin performed in 1934–44 with his first four symphonies.
After the Soviet Union’s annexation of Estonia in 1944, the music world also gained political control. In 1956, with the premiere of “Concerto grosso” by Eino Tamberg, there was a breakthrough for modernism, which was otherwise represented in the home country, among others. the radical Arvo Pärt, Jaan Rääts, the folklorically oriented choir composer Veljo Tormis and Kuldar Sink (1942–95).
The postwar Estonian music culture thus came to be composed of several overlapping and incompatible music cultures: the official but internationally isolated Soviet testis, the music of the exile culture with roots in the ideals from the independence period 1918-40 and the music that came to be represented by later emigrated composers, among them the increasingly religiously radical Pärt, with a background in the opposition to socialist aesthetics. In line with the liberalization during the 1980’s, the boundaries between the different groups and their different styles of directions became loosened. Pärt belongs today with its new, densified minimalism alongside Tubin to Estonia’s internationally best known and appreciated composers.
Since Estonia’s independence was again proclaimed in 1991, the music life also became adapted to and consolidated according to Western European patterns, which fundamentally changed the music life and its institutions. The nationwide organization Eesti Kontsert developed its operations mainly in Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu. A number of modern festivals for different genres now complement the recurring song and dance parties.
Notable composers include the aforementioned René Eespere (born 1953), Sven Grünberg (born 1956), Raimo Kangro (1949-2001), Jüri Reinvere (born 1971), Urmas Sisask (born 1960), Lepo Sumera, Mirjam Tally, Helena Tulve (born 1972), Erkki-Sven Tüür, Mari Vihmand (born 1967) next to Estonia’s musical “grand old lady” Ester Mägi (born 1922).
Among the prominent active conductors are the dynasties Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi and Kristjan Järvi (born 1972) as well as Eri Klas and the choir conductor Tõnu Kaljuste (born 1953), all of whom held leading positions in Sweden as well. Legendary choral conductor was Gustav Ernesaks, the author of the unofficial national song “Mu isamaa on minu arm” (“My motherland is my love”). Internationally well known is the ensemble for early music Hortus Musicus under the direction of Andres Mustonen (born 1953).
The pianist Käbi Laretei, who works in Sweden, was born in Estonia and received his early piano training there.
During the Soviet era, rock music was first seen and then punk music not with such gentle eyes. Estonia, however, distinguished itself among the other Soviet Union in following the musical trends of the western world, however, with a few years of delay. Among the rock groups from the 1970’s onwards are Ruja, Gunnar Graps Group, Orange, JMKE, Singer Vinger and Vennaskond.
During the 2000’s, the Vanilla Ninja girl group has had success in especially Central Europe and Germany, while pop artist Kerli (really Kerli Kõiv, born 1987) has attracted some attention in the US. The groups Metsatöll and Raud-Ants are known for their musical combination of heavy metal, runo singing and folk music (folk metal).
The traditional folk culture of Estonia is basically a peasant culture formed within the former border area between Germans and slaves – so early that it remained relatively unaffected by the Baltic-German ruling class of the 13th century. Cultural impulses from the west and east have contributed to the country being geographically geographically divided into a western and an eastern cultural area, the latter including the whole of central Estonia, in addition with north-south differences. The most obvious differences are the differences between the respective core areas in the northwest and southeast. The west-east differences are also related to natural geographic differences; in the fertile highlands of the eastern cultural area, agriculture has had a special anchorage, in the west, the lowland with extensive wetlands has restricted agriculture and made the population there dependent also on other industries, including crafts. Maritime industries have dominated in the coastal areas and the islands, not least among the Estonian Swedes, who have played a cultural mediating role here. A genuine Estonian cultural element is e.g. the knot-timbered, combined “dwellingrian” (Northeasternrehetuba, ‘riestuga’) with a thatched roof. In the folk poetry, known primarily through the Estonian national epic “Kalevipoeg” (1857-61), the folk songs in particular have generally adopted Baltic-Finnish features.
The National Museum in Tartu, founded as the Eesti Rahva Muuseum in 1909, has a central cultural preserve.
During Estonia’s independence period 1920–40, the country’s athletes distinguished themselves mainly in wrestling and weightlifting. Most famous is wrestler Johannes Kotkas, who took two European golds for Estonia in the 1930’s and Olympic golds for the Soviet Union in 1952.
More recently, the country’s cross-country skiers have distinguished themselves, notably Andrus Veerpalu (born 1971) and Kristina Šmigun-Vähi (born 1977), who both took two Olympic golds during the 00’s.
Estonia also has successful athletes such as three-step jumper Jaak Uudmäe (born 1954; Olympic gold 1980), ten champion Erki Nool (born 1970; Olympic gold 2000) and discus thrower Gerd Kanter (born 1979; Olympic Gold 2008).
Other athletes include the track cyclist Erika Salumäe (born 1962; Olympic gold for the Soviet Union 1988, for Estonia 1992) and rowingman Jüri Jaanson (born 1965; two Olympic silver 2004–08 for Estonia, World Cup gold 1990 for the Soviet Union).
When Moscow organized the 1980 Summer Olympics, sailing competitions were held in the waters off Tallinn.
Estonian gymnastics educators Ernst Idla and Leida Leesment became influential in Sweden after moving home during the Second World War. Idla founded the gymnastics group Idlaflickorna in Stockholm, while Leesment formed the Malmo girls.