Monday 8 April 2013

Niko Pirosmani

1900 Self-Portrait 
oil on oil-cloth 38 x 49 cm

Following on from the sophisticated and realistic portraits by Russian artist Ivan Kramskoy, I thought it would be good time to show the works of a C19th naïve artist  Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani as a contrast. 

Pirosmani was the subject of a stylish and stylised film by Giorgi Shengelaya, made in 1969, that won the Grand Prix at the Chicago Film Festival in 1972. I loved this film when it came out and saw it at the cinema at least four times. It employed stylised scenes where people were posed straight at the camera, emulating the style of Pirosmani's paintings.


Niko Pirosmani was born in the Georgian village of Mirzaani to a peasant family of farming smallholders. He was later orphaned and left in the care of his two elder sisters. They all moved to the capital Tbilisi in 1870. In 1872 he worked as a servant to wealthy families, and learned to read and write Russian and Georgian. In 1876 he returned to Mirzaani and worked as a herdsman.

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. His continuing poverty, compounded by the economic problems caused by the First World War, meant that his life ended with his work effectively unrecognised. In April 1918 he died of malnutrition and liver failure. 

Georgian banknote featuring Niko Pirosmani

c1905 Giraffe 
oil on oil-cloth 139 x 111 cm

1905 Ortachali Beauty 
oil on oil-cloth 52 x 117 cm

c1905 Woman with a Mug of Beer 
oil on oil-cloth

c1905 Gate Keeper 
oil on oil-cloth 101 x 47 cm

1906 Feast with Barrel Organist Datico 
oil on oil-cloth 106 x 198 cm

1906 A Georgian Woman with Tambourine 
oil on oil-cloth

1906 Portrait of Alexander Garanov 
oil on oil-cloth 109 x 90 cm

1906 Fisherman among Rocks 
oil on oil-cloth 53 x 126 cm

1906 The Feast of Five Princes 
oil on oil-cloth

1907 Rant 
oil on oil-cloth 113 x 177 cm

1907 Family Feast 
oil on oil-cloth 116 x 171 cm

1908 Fisherman in a Red Shirt 
oil on oil-cloth 113 x 93 cm

1909 Actress Margarita 
oil on oil-cloth 117 x 94 cm

1913 Portrait of Ilya Zdanevich 
oil on oil-cloth

1917 She-Bear with Two Cubs

I do not have dates for the remainder of these works:

A Boy Carrying Food 
oil on oil-cloth 82 x 48 cm

A Large Wine Jug in the Forest 
oil on oil-cloth

A Peasant Woman with her Son 
oil on oil-cloth 75 x 56 cm

Cold Beer ( sign ) 
oil on oil-cloth

Childless Millionaire and the Poor with Children 
oil on oil-cloth 114 x 156 cm

Cold Beer ( sign ) 
oil on oil-cloth

Company Bego 
66 x 102 cm

oil on oil-cloth 106 x 46cm

Company Bego

Feast at Gvimradze 
oil on oil-cloth 123 x 210 cm

Father and Son

Easter Lamb 
oil on oil-cloth

Feast in the Grape Arbor 
oil on oil-cloth 140 x 114 cm

Feast of Four Residents

Firewood Seller 
oil on oil-cloth

Girl with a Ball 
oil on cardboard 75 x 55 cm

Girl with a Balloon 
oil on oil-cloth

Fruit Stall 
oil on oil-cloth

Healer on a Donkey 
oil on oil-cloth 89 x 100 cm

Little Kinko 
oil on oil-cloth

Lamb and Easter Table with Flying Angels 
oil on oil-cloth
Prince with a Horn of Wine 
oil on oil-cloth

oil on oil-cloth 49 x 80 cm

Peasant Woman with Children Going for Water

Roe with a landscape in the background

Roe Deer by a Creek 
oil on oil-cloth

Sow with Piglets 
oil on cardboard

Sister of Mercy

St. George Anchorite

Still Life 
oil on oil-cloth

Tatar - Camel Driver 
oil on oil-cloth

The Sister and Brother 
oil 120 x 102 cm

The Son of a Rich Kintos 
oil on oil-cloth 106 x 46 cm

Threshing Yard, Evening 
oil on oil-cloth

White Cow on a Black Background 
oil on oil-cloth 80 x 100 cm

Wine Makers

Woman with Flowers 
oil on oil-cloth 111 x 52 cm

Woman Carrying Eggs 
oil on cardboard


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