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Monday, 18 June 2018


Hunting for Pirosmani

2011-12-01 17:11

Hunting for Pirosmani. 25183.jpeg

The Prosecutor's Office of Georgia suspected the auction house MacDougall's in the resale of stolen goods. After the fact that Russia declared the masterpiece by Niko Pirosmani "Black Lion" criminally exported from the country, Georgian law enforcement agencies are blowing on the water.


The painting "Shepherd" by the same author, was sold for half a million dollars, has been voluntarily donated by the owner to the resident of Riga, where the law banning the export of cultural heritage did not yet acted. However, the Ministry of Culture believes that this situation should be examined.

In one of the periods of his short and indigent life, Niko Pirosmani was a shepherd - just like the one shepherd on the oilskin canvas, about which the Georgian Prosecutor's Office went wild. That happened because the canvas at the cost of a half million dollars got into unknown private hands.

In pre-Soviet Georgia of the beginning of XIX century - when the artist lived - very few people recognized him as a great primitivist. With no education and without money to get it, an orphan of two - Pirosmani - draw popular prints on a dark and white film, leaving some places not filled in. He drew childishly, simply and sincerely, so that when you look at any of his paintings, you understand: this is Georgia, this is its people who cannot be confused with any other nation. But that time his works were not valued, and Pirosmani, saying in the verse by Bulat Okudzhava, sold his paintings for a portion of the meal.

Now even the only "Shepherd in the papakha on a red background" could provide an artist a carefree existence, and millions of white roses for the French actress, so beloved by him. And there are at least three such shepherds in his creative legacy, that's why so many Georgian newspapers now mistakenly print wrong pictures to the news about the London auction.

In the annotations to this lot on MacDougall's website, it is said that the painting was donated by the owner, who has put it on sale, by the family of the famous artist David Kakabadze back in the 80s of last century. The new owner, who has paid 600 thousand pounds for it, prefers to stay in the shade. There are rumors that it was bought by Bidzina Ivanishvili, who, as he once said in London, has a collection of paintings.

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