Kristjan Raud, the founder of Estonian art, memorialized the Estonian spirit through a series of paintings and drawings of nude, muscular men, leading one to wonder if he was gay.
Born in 1865, he studied art in St. Petersburg and Munich, then returned to Tallinn, where he became a schoolteacher.
When Estonia became independent in 1917, the 52-year old won a contest for the design of the new postage stamps with his drawing of a nude, muscular man sowing seeds, his bag extending outward as a phallic symbol (below).
The next year, he won the contest for the design of the new currency with a romantic picture of farmers and shepherds, and was commissioned to draw the new coat of arms.
Also busts and monuments devoted to important public figures, like wrestle Aleksander Aberg (top photo). They, too, were often muscular and semi-nude.
Raud married late in life, and had three children. He died in 1943, when people often lived and died without being aware of the existence of same-sex desire, in themselves or others. So there's no way to tell.
But his art is an inspiration, both to the Estonian people and to everyone mesmerized by male beauty.
See also: Lembit Sarapuu; Kalevipoeg, Gay Epic Hero of Estonia and Yuri and I Cruise in Estonia.