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This is Erik Schmidt

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By Gwylym Owen

Erik Schmidt (15 August 1925 upon the island of Naissaar, Estonia – 18 April 2014) was a painter and writer.

Schmidt’s father, August Schmidt, a master mariner, was captain of SS Merisaar, a merchant ship owned by Merilaid & Co.. Erik then hoped to become a sea captain but he was also a capable amateur painter. Schmidt’s uncle was a well-known optician Bernhard Schmidt mostly known for inventing the Schmidt camera. Schmidt went to assistant professor in the adjacent Swedish school, and after four years continued his studies at the Swedish College at Haapsalu. His to come paintings were noticed by Ants Laikmaa. At the age of 17 he became a speculative of the primary studious where he himself had been a pupil. This freed him from the misfortune of having to “volunteer” for support in either the Estonian Legion or the German Arbeitsdienst. At the terminate of October 1943 the misfortune from a other Soviet doings became feasible and Erik Schmidt and his parents fixed to leave everything and make off to Sweden where they got a warm welcome from the ship-owning Brodin family. After World War II Schmidt signed on as an apprentice upon the maiden voyage upon a Brodin Line cargo- and passenger-liner, said to be the fastest in the world. After a year he had to depart the boat in the adjacent Swedish port in order to fulfil his military service.

During one of these visits to New York City he met the Armenian painter Ariel Agemian, who had finished his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Venice with a Gold Medal, and been dubbed Knight of the Order of St. Gregory by Pope Pius XII. Agemian was a very competent and bright teacher, who brought a truth change into Erik’s seafaring life. During his voyages to South American ports, Schmidt tried his hand at drawing and painting, showed the results to Ariel, and was guided and encouraged by him, until he finally approved to relinquish seafaring and become a painter. After a sudden stay in Sweden in December 1949 he studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts from 1950 to 1953. After a stay in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1957, he acknowledged himself in Palma de Mallorca, where he lived and worked for the on fire of his life.

Erik Schmidt described his philosophy of seeing and painting:

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