Famous Georgian primitivist painter Nikoloz Pirosmanishvili ( Niko Pirosmani or simply Nikala) (1862-1918)was born in the Georgian village of Mirzaani to a peasant family in kakheti (region in eastern Georgia) province. He did not receive special education, Nikala was self-taught painter.
Drawings, which cost millions of dollars today, were painted by an artist living in unbearable conditions. At the age of eight, after the death of Niko’s parents, he and his sisters moved in Tbilisi. They worked as servants in wealthy families and he learned to read and write Georgian and Russian. In 1876, after his elder sister’s death, they returned to Mirzaani and he worked as a herdsman. A few times later Nikala moved in Tbilisi to study. But, unfortunately, instead of learning he was forced to work. He started working on railway station. Despite the difficulties, Pirosmani continued painting. He was drawing everywhere, even at work. Because of that he was even dismissed from work. Nikala was so keened on with drawing that could not notice how his chief had come into the room. He watched a little while he was drawing and after that chief threw a picture and fired him. But then Niko was returned back after a great beg of his friends. During his lifetime Pirosmani drew hundreds of pictures such as: “Shota Rustaveli”, “Giorgi Saakadze”, “Queen Tamar”, “Fisherman”, “Cock and Creeping”, “Giraffe”. Niko was attracted by historical themes and figures, in addition with ordinary Georgian people and their everyday lives. He was the only Georgian animalist and also fond of nature and rural life.
One of his famous paintings is “Actress Margarita”. She was a French singer and dancer. Margarita had a unique and fascinating voice. Nikala fell in love with her at first sight, when he saw a poster with Frenchwoman. ”She is not a woman, bus a pearl of precious casket!”- Niko exclaimed. According to the legend niko sold everything that he had and with this money he bought thousands of flowers for Margarita. But Frenchwoman didn’t appreciate his love and left him. „The pigeons have fled, my dream is gone, and I stayed homeless” said Niko. From here the artist’s poor life began.
Pirosmani painted walls in barrelhaouses, portraits, pictures with ordering and with this afford himself. He was often sick. Niko lived in the basement under the stairs. He was tired of sickness, hunger and impatience. In the spring of 1918, Nikala’s health has worsened and after a few days in hospital Niko pirosmani died.
The first ones who appreciated the Pirosmani talent were brothers Zdenevichs. After that, Ilia Zdanevich wrote a letter about Niko to the newspaper “Zakavkazskaia Rech”, which published in 1913. In the same year, an article about niko pirosmanishvili and his art was published in Georgian newspaper “Temi”. But eventually his life ended with his work little recognized.
Nowadays Pirosmani is very popular artist. His name is known all over the world. Nikala was great artist and he created adorable masterpieces.