Works of Artists


Pirosmani was born in the Georgian village of Mirzaani to a peasant family in the Kakheti province. His parents, Aslan Pirosmanashvili and Tekle Toklikishvili were farmers. They owned a small vineyard, couple of cows and oxes. He was later orphaned and put in the care of his two elder sisters, Mariam and Pepe. He moved with them to Tbilisi in 1870. In 1872 he worked as a servant for wealthy families and learned to read and write Russian and Georgian. In 1876 he returned to Mirzaani and worked as a herdsman.Pirosmani gradually taught himself to paint. One of his specialties was painting directly into black oilcloth. In 1882 he, with self-taught George Zaziashvili, opened a painting workshop, where they were making signboards. In 1890 he worked as a railroad conductor. In 1893 he co-founded a dairy farm in Tbilisi which he left in 1901. Throughout his life Pirosmani, who was always poor, was willing to take up ordinary jobs including housepainting and whitewashing buildings. He also work for shopkeepers in Tbilisi ― he was creating signboards, paintings and portraits according to their orders. Although his paintings had some local popularity (about 200 survive) his relationship with professional artists remained uneasy; making a living was always more important to him than abstract aesthetics.In April 1918 he died of malnutrition and liver failure. He was buried at the Nino cemetery; the exact location is unknown as it was not registered. Niko Pirosmanashvili’s paintings were represented at the first big exhibition of Georgian painters in 1918. From 1920th few articles were published about him in Georgian periodical press. Interests about Pirosmani especially increased in 1950th ― many books were published in Georgia, Russia and other countries. Biographical film and plays were created, musical compositions were composed. His paintings were exhibited in many countries of Soviet Union and Western Europe. Niko’s monument was installed in Tbilisi, museum was opened in Mirzaani. Nowadays, the most part of his works are located in Art Museum of Georgia.At the beginning of 20th century Pirosmani lived in a little apartment not far from Tbilisi railway station.Pirosmani’s paintings were in influenced by the social conditions, where he lived. There are many works about merchants, shopkeepers, workmen and noblemen groups. Pirosmanashvili was fond of nature and rural live. He rarely referred to city landscape. Big part of his works are animal paintings. Until today he is the only Georgian animalist. Pirosmani also was attracted by historical figures and themes such as Shota Rustaveli, Queen Tamar, Giorgi Saakadze and others, as well as ordinary Georgian people and their everyday life.Usually Pirosmani panted on oilcloth. In his paintings it is notable that he didn’t have special education, but it didn’t impede him to create his works ― on the contrary, his paintings are peculiar. Unlike other artists, Niko didn’t aim natural imitation of the nature, didn’t pay attention to details. Some of his paintings are monochrome. The building of his paintings demonstrate the author's sharp compositional consideration. Placements of the figures are frontal, faces doesn’t demonstrate specific mood.In the 1910s he won the critical enthusiasm of the Russian poet Mikhail Le-Dantyu and the artist Kirill Zdanevich and his brother Ilia Zdanevich. Ilia Zhdanevich wrote a letter about Pirosmani to the newspaper "Zakavkazskaia Rech", which it published on February 13, 1913. He also undertook to publicise Pirosmani's painting in Moscow. The Moscow newspaper "Moskovskaia Gazeta" of January 7 wrote about the exhibition "Mishen" where self-taught painters exhibited, among them four works by Pirosmani: "Portrait of Zhdanevich", "Still Life", "Woman with a Beer Mug", and "The Roe". Critics writing later in the same newspaper were impressed with his talent.In the same year an article about Niko Pirosmani and his art was published in Georgian newspaper "Temi" .The Society of Georgian Painters, founded in 1916 by Dito Shevardnadze, invited Pirosmani to its meetings and began to take him up, but his relations with the society were always uneasy. Although he presented to the Society his painting "Georgian Wedding", one of the members published a caricature of him which greatly offended him. His continuing poverty, compounded by the economic problems caused by the First World War, meant that his life ended with his work effectively unrecognised.


  ( Information taken from Wikipedia )


 Works in gallery