Giorgi Sesiashvili’s European Art Experience and his years at the Tbilisi Academy of Fine Arts

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Sophio Papinashvili


Giorgi Sesiashvili, one of the most prominent figures of the Georgian art in the early twentieth century, had studied in one of Geneva’s art schools before entering Tbilisi Academy of Art. He had traveled to France in 1913 and cast one of his first small plastic works there. Unfortunately, we have very little information on European travel and study of the sculptor. It created problems in detailed readings of his professional biography facts. Though, the interest in the unknown life details of this Georgian art historian was so signifi cant, that I finally discovered a part of Giorgi Sesiashvili’s personal archive in one
of the private collections. The archive reads that the sculptor used to make notes criticism of not only the works of other artists but his own as well. Aiming at mastering his art skills, the sculptor initially left for Europe (Switzerland, France), and upon his return to the motherland, where brand new Tbilisi Academy of Art was just open, he continued mastering under
the guidance of Iakob Nikoladze. The artist describes the travel stories in his notes. The sculptor was quite critical about his works, which is evident from multiple corrections made in his drafts details. That is why there are several versions of the same artworks in his art laboratory.

The approach of this kind used by the artist indicates that he focused on the fundamental study of the human body being triggered by the aspiration of perfectionism, which is evident from the graphic draft pieces reviewed in this article. It is noteworthy that the Georgian art history describes only a part of Giorgi Sesiashvili’s creative works. These are sculptured plastic and sculptures on socialist themes created on a very high level of professionalism, while the artist’s works in Nu style, which are represented in drafts produced on the early stage of his art career, are absolutely unknown.

Hence, this article focuses on Giorgi Sesiashvili’s professional formation periods with an overview of his European experience. He mastered his professionalism in the class of Iakob Nikoladze at Tbilisi Academy of Arts and, like his teacher continued work in European plastic style until 1930,
when he, like all artists of the period, was forced to serve the soviet ideology and propaganda.

It should be emphasized that despite the existing ideology requirements, his art pieces have never been overfi lled with the soviet ideology and pathos; there are no works dedicated to the party leaders.

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Published: Dec 20, 2021

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Art Studies