Johannes Võerahansu was born on 28 January 1902, in Raikküla Parish, Harju County. He studied at Tallinn College from 1919 and at the same time at the studio school of Ants Laikmaa until 1921. For a short time, the artist worked as a decorator at the Tallinn Drama Studio Theatre and as a ceramic artist at the Türi Brick and Ceramics Factory. The artist graduated from Ado Vabbe’s painting class at the Pallas Art School, in 1936, together with Lydia Nirk-Soosaar and Karl Pärsimägi. Võerahansu was a well-educated artist and teacher, teaching higher courses in fine arts and at the Tartu State Art Institute. From 1955 to 1957 he worked at the Tartu Art School, and from 1957 to 1973 at the Estonian National Art Institute, in Tallinn. Johannes Võerahansu has been named one of the most outstanding landscape painters in Estonia, and his early poetic paintings in silvery colours depicting the way of life and nature on the island of Saaremaa in the 1930s are particularly well known.

Johannes Võerahansu’s most productive period of creativity fell during the difficult 1940s–1950s. In the 1950s, he was commissioned to paint for cultural institutions. In 1956, the artist produced two large paintings – one of the townscape, and the other of the lake. In the same year, he also completed five other Viljandi-themed paintings. Võerahansu’s paintings are uniquely pastose and technically versatile, lyrical-romantic in style (Vallikivi, 2020). Võerahansu died on 17 October 1980, in Tallinn. ).

Johannes Võerahansu (1902-1980)
View of the courtyard of Viljandi Order Castle, 1956. Oil painting 80 x 120 cm.
The Museum of Viljandi

The painting was acquired by the Ugala Theatre and was exhibited for a long time in the Koidu community centre.

KEYWORDS: Renowned Estonian painting teacher, author of romantic landscape paintings.