Vilhelms Purvītis (3 March 1872 in Zaube, Latvia – 14 January 1945 in Bad Nauheim, Germany) was a landscape painter and educator who founded the Latvian Academy of Art and was its rector from 1919 to 1934.Purvītis studied painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, Russia from 1890 to 1897, primarily under Arkhip Kuindzhi, graduating with the Grand Gold Medal. From 1898 to 1901 his paintings were exhibited in Berlin, Munich, Paris, and Lyon to great acclaim. Thereafter he made his home in Riga, traveling to Spitsbergen in Norway in 1902 to study the painting of snow.Constantly experimenting and becoming a master of snow scenes, Purvītis began as a realist, turned to impressionism, and was later influenced by Cézanne and Munch. As the leader of the landscape painting workshop at the Latvian Academy of Art from 1921 to 1944, of visual arts in the architecture department at the University of Latvia from 1919 to 1940, and director of the Riga City Art School from 1909 to 1915, Purvītis had a host of followers and was the acknowledged leader of a whole school of Latvian painting. Many of his works were destroyed when the Red Army took Jelgava in 1944, while many others were lost when evacuated to Bavaria. Purvītis' remains were reinterred in Riga in 1994, after Latvia regained its independence.