Original Picasso painting of Pirosmani exhibited in Tbilisi

  • Exhibition featuring Pirosmani's unique pieces of art will hold on March 15. Phoro by Palace of Art.
Agenda.ge, 13 Mar 2015 - 13:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is gearing up to host an exhibition involving an original Pablo Picasso painting.

The painting by the famous Spanish artist is particularly relevant to Georgia as it portrays the Georgian famous artist Niko Pirosmani.

The artwork, called Portrait of Pirosmani was created in 1972. The image features thick, black straight lines and portrays a man standing in front of a painting stand.

Portrait of Pirosmani painted by Pablo Picasso. 1972

The Protection Agency of Cultural Heritage of Georgia was responsible for bringing the painting to Georgia, to be part of an exhibition that honoured the outstanding Georgian painter, Pirosmani.

This will be the first time this Picasso piece has been exhibited in Georgia. 

Meanwhile at the exhibition, 15 pieces from Pirosmani’s State Museum collection from Mirzaani, the village where Pirosmani was born, will be displayed alongside the Picasso original. This exhibition will be the first time these paintings have been displayed in Tbilisi since 1978.

The Picasso painting will go on display at the Palace of Art  from March 15. 

Mother Bear with Her Cubs by Niko Pirosmani. 

Pirosmani was born in 1862 in Georgia’s Kakheti region and died in 1918 in Tbilisi. Throughout his life he developed a passion for art. Despite having no formal art training, Pirosmani went on to be one of Georgia’s most famous painters.

Today, many Georgians are proud of Pirosmani and his achievements; he lived in poverty and was a self-educated artist who invented a new painting technique using his natural talent. Globally he is recognised as one of the most outstanding primitivism painters of all time.

Meanwhile it has been a long process to get the unique Picasso painting to come to Georgia. 

Threshing in Kakheti by Niko Pirosmani.

The director of the Pirosmani Museum in Mirzaani, Anzor Madzgarashvili, told Georgian media the history of the painting and how it journeyed from France to Georgia.

The story revolved around Georgian writer and artist Ilia Zdanevich. He left the Soviet Union in the 1930s and moved to France to escape the Soviet regime and pursue a life of freedom and creativity.

In France he funded and established a small newsletter, which only published five copies. In France he met Pablo Picasso and showed him his catalogue, which featured Pirosmani’s paintings. 

It was through this newsletter that Picasso was first introduced to the Georgian artist.

Picasso was intrigued in Pirosmani and painted his Portrait of Pirosmani in 1972.

"[But] Picasso painted another portrait of Pirosmani which not been found yet,” Madzgarashvili added.