Reinis Zusters was born of Latvian parents in Odessa, Russia. While living in Latvia, he studied art and architecture at Riga Art and Technical College, and undertook a course in anatomy at Riga University. He arrived in Australia in 1950, and soon established himself as a full-time artist working in oil, watercolour and mixed media. In devoting himself to the creation of works and to the promotion and growth of the visual arts, Zusters has encouraged awareness of his new country by using his art to promote Australia to the world.
Awarded many prizes in Australia, he was the recipient of the Bronze Prize in the 1990 Osaka Triennale, Japan, an international competition for painting, where he achieved his win over 29 000 artists from 81 countries. At the 1993 Osaka Triennale, which included 10,000 entrants from 91 countries, he was awarded a Special Prize.
Painted in a semi-abstract style, VICTORIAN LANDSCAPE, 1961, combines abstraction with visual impressions of the world in which the artist lives. The Australian countryside provides Zusters with the motivation for this painting, but the forms and colours of nature are magically changed to a rich and luscious panorama.
What might have been a conventional outdoor scene becomes a complex but still harmonious composition, in which the artist's imagination is completely in command.