'Lost' Pirosmani Painting Goes on Display in Tbilisi

TBILISI – Georgia’s Cartu Foundation has donated a painting by famed local artist Niko Pirosmani to the Georgian National Museum of Art.

The painting, titled Roe Deer Drinking Water, is considered one of Pirosmani’s “lost” masterpieces, as it had never been shown to the public. The work had been part of the private collection of Tbilisi’s Tsitsishvili -Gedevanishvili family from 1949-2011.

The painting was later sold at an auction by US-based art dealer Sotheby’s.

Earlier this year, Roe Deer Drinking Water reappeared at a Sotheby’s auction and was subsequently bought by the Cartu Foundation and donated to the National Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Pirosmani’s art.

A second painting by Pirosmani - Arsenali Mountain at Night – was also acquired by the Cartu foundation and recently repatriated to Georgia, the Foundation’s Chairman Nikoloz Chkhetiani said at a press conference on September 27.    

Arsenali Mountain at Night is scheduled to go on display at the National Gallery in the coming months.

The Cartu Foundation is a charity fund established and financed by Georgia’s eccentric billionaire oligarch and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Pirosmani was a self-taught primitivist painter born in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region in the mid-19th century. He later rose to prominence in the Soviet period after his death in 1918.

His works are best known to depict Georgian and Caucasian folklore traditions and the region’s natural landscapes.

By Nino Gugunishvili

Edited by Nicholas Waller

28 September 2016 12:18