Prof. Nikolajs Breikšs was born on the 10th of January 1911 in Mogilev, Belarus.

His father Antons was a surveyor, his daughter Olga (1944-2013) was an LSAA graduate.

He studied Architecture at the Rīga State Technical School. Following this he graduated with a degree from the LAA in 1937, where he completed a landscape painting course with Professor Vilhelms Purvītis. His final diploma submission was a painting called Keišu ciems (Keiss village).

As an art teacher he taught at the primary school in Viļaka from 1939 to 1940, and as a teacher of mathematics and calligraphy at the Rēzekne Economic Technical College from 1940 to 1941. He then took a job as an art teacher once more at the Rēzekne first elementary school from 1941 to 1942, and also started teaching at the LSAA, progressing from being a teacher in 1945, to Associate Professor from 1952 and Professor from 1971.

He became a member of the Latvian Artist Association in 1944. During his life he fulfilled a number of public duties: he was a member of the painters office section (1942-1945), later serving as deputy chairman (1960-1967). He was an Art Foundation council member and chairman (1959-1963), a member of the Ministry of Culture‘s Expert and Exhibition commission, and "Art Days" commission chairman. He was one of the Rēzekne Artist and Actor Community‘s organizers and members (1934-1944), and a member of the Fine Arts cooperative (1942-1945).

The artist has been awarded with the Honorary Diplomas of the LSSR Supreme Soviet Presidium (1944, 1949, 1960), The Medal For Heroic Deeds in the GPW (1946); the Honorary Diploma of the LSSR Cabinet of Ministers management of Arts and Culture (1950); The Medal "For Labour Valour" (1956) and the Honorary Diploma of the USSR MC (1959, 1969).

He was a candidate for State Prize of the LSSR (1957) and received the title of Honored Art Worker of the LSSR (1965).

In 1971, he gained the status of a Nation‘s Artist in the Latvian SSR.


He died on the 1st of August 1972 in Rīga, and is buried in Rīgas Meža kapi.




Latvian Academy of Art (LAA); the Soviet period 1944-1990 (LSAA)
Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR)
Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 (GPW)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Ministry of Culture (MC)