Georgian prince painted by his friend Salvador Dali
04 January, 2017
Georgian prince painted by his friend Salvador Dali
A portrait of Georgian nobleman Archil Gurieli-Chkonia performed by famous artist Salvador Dali has recently become known to the wide public. As it turns out, these two iconic persons were close friends and the well-known artist created portraits of both Archil and his celebrated wife Helena Rubinstein, self-made businesswoman. It is noteworthy that Dali painted Georgian prince clad in a traditional Georgian man’s wear Chakura whereas in the background he depicted Georgian mythical hero Amirani, the proto-type of Prometheus, chained to the Caucasus cliff, as the legend says. In addition, in the background a church can be seen, which indicates that Georgia is a Christian country, and the ships that possibly tell the story of Argonauts that came for the golden fleece in Georgia. Far in the right side of the artwork a snow-covered peak is painted that also demonstrates Georgian landscape, in particular Caucasus Mountains. In one word, Dali made the portrait in Georgian theme and showed the country exactly as Archil described it to him.
geotv.ge
As for Georgian prince’s wife, Helena had a close relationship with many famous artists and often sat for them. Among her 30 portraits, the one performed by Dali in 1943 is unique, since it depicts Rubinstein chained to a rocky cliff by her jewels similarly to her husband’s portrait. The portrait is estimated at $1 million to $1.5 million and was exhibited at Sotheby’s. Rubinstein, who died in 1965, was a close friend and patron of Dali and commissioned him to decorate her 30-room Manhattan triplex with three murals. The portrait was painted a year later. Sotheby’s said the title is a reference to her marriage to her second husband, a Georgian prince.
geotv.ge

geotv.ge
Helena's portrait by Salvador Dali

geotv.ge
Helena Rubinstein and Salvador Dali

Archil Gurieli-Chkonia was born in 1895 to the family of a petty nobleman. He claimed that his grandmother was a descendant of Gurieli princes, which was the reason why he added this surname to his official name, later receiving the title of tavadi (prince). In 1921 Archil Gurieli-Chkonia emigrated from Georgia. First, he went to Austria, then moved to France and beginning from 1937, he was living in the United States. In 1945-47 he was the head of Georgian Society of America. He never forgot his relatives and helped them as much as he could. He even helped some of them
receive education abroad.Archil Gurieli-Chkonia found himself at the center of wide public attention when he married one of the richest women in the world, Helena Rubinstein (1882-1965), who was also called the Queen of Cosmetics. Helena was of Jewish descent and was born in Poland. She owned one of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world called ‘Helena Rubinstein’, which now forms part of L’Oreal group. Rubinstein led an active public life and was the patron of art. Her company has built the Museum of Modern Arts in Tel-Aviv. She gave money to traveling artists and Jewish students, funded various scientific researches and played an important role in America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
geotv.ge
Archil and Helena

The family life of Helena Rubinstein and Archil Gurieli-Chkonia was the subject of endless rumors, because Helena was 23 years younger than her husband. However, as it seems, this marriage was beneficial to both of them. Chkonia was attracted by the wealth of his wife and Helena – by the title of his husband. After marriage, Helena called herself the Helen the Princess Gurieli. In spite of such a huge age difference, Helena and Archil had created quite a successful business together and laid foundation of Gurieli Apothecary line. They produced expensive cosmetics for men and women. The Paris salon was led by Gurieli’s sister, Mariam, who had been a designer of hats at Coco Chanel.
geotv.ge
The couple led a bohemian life. They had the same hobby – playing Bridge. Gurieli was a very good player and often won considerable sums of money. Besides, their family stood out for a great hospitality and generosity. Archil Chkonia-Gurieli, thanks to his good manners, good looks and good humor, acquired new friends very quickly. He had befriended many famous people, including Janet McDonald, Erroll Flynn, Gregory Peck, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and others. Due to his friendship with Archil Gurieli-Chkonia, Aalvador Dali was of a very good opinion towards Georgians generally. This can be proved by one incident: One day, two Georgian students (robbers, according to some sources), wriggled their way into the yard of Salvador Dali’s house. They were soon detained by the security guards and when Dali learned that they were Georgians, he invited them into the house.
geotv.ge
Archil and Helena playing bridge

Archil Gurieli-Chkonia died in 1955, in Manhattan, New York. Helena was devastated, but outlived her husband by ten years. Gurieli-Chkonia left no offsprings and all his property, according to the marriage contract, was passed on to Helena.

geotv.ge
Archil and Helena

Related story:

Niko Pirosmani’s Rebirth Through Picasso’s Paintbrush

Modigliani’s “Alexandra Dadiani” sold at Sotheby’s auction for 26 million

Portrait of Napoleon’s famous Mamluk sold for 32 000 USD

Salvador Dali's “most magnificent women in Paris”
Other Stories
 “David Koma was in a combative mood” – Leading fashion journal on Georgian designer
Yet another fashion publication Women's Wear Daily (WWD), a fashion-industry trade journal sometimes called "the bible of fashion”, has dedicated an article to Georgian designer
First graffiti shop and school opens in Tbilisi
First graffiti shop, gallery and studio Fabrikaffiti will open on February 25th at Fabrika, the multifunctional space and a hostel located in an old textile plant.
Georgian movie among The Best Films at Berlinale 2017
Georgian film My Happy Family by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß has been included among the best films presented at Berlinale 2017.
Aerosmith concert tickets will be available from 50 GEL
Aerosmith concert tickets will be available since February 25th, the Ministry of Economy reports.
Masterpieces by Picasso, Kandinsky and Roubaud exhibited in Tbilisi
The paintings of world renowned artists Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Roubaud will be exhibited together with outstanding Georgian painter Gigo Gagabashvili’s artworks in Tbilisi,
Georgian movies featured at International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France
Georgian films have been featured at the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France.
Georgian designer presents her works at New York Fashion Week
Georgian textile designer Sopo Barnovi has presented her collection at the New York Fashion Week.
Five Georgian films presented at Berlinale
Five Georgian films are being screened at world’s one of the prestigious Berlinale Film Festival starting from February 10 to February 17.
Netflix in negotiations to scoop global rights to Georgian film My Happy Family
Netflix is in advanced negotiations to acquire global rights to Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’ “My Happy Family,” a Georgian drama that premiered at Sundance
Georgian movie given a prestigious ASC Award in Hollywood
Influential American magazine The Hollywood Reporter writes about the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards,
7 most popular and handsome Georgian actors of modern generation
Most of them have earned nationwide fame thanks to their appearance on TV.
Georgian movie among the best projects at largest Central European Documentary event
A documentary film project by Georgian film director Rati Tsiteladze, written by Nino Varsimashvili, was selected to participate
Georgian-French animation completed – Watch The Pocket Man trailer
The first Georgian-French co-produced animated film The Pocket Man is completed and ready to be screened at international festivals across the world.
Tbilisi's CineClub organized Georgian award-winning film screening for foreign audience
Amirani Cinema hosted the film screening of House of Others by Georgian director Rusudan Glurjidze.
Rusudan Glurjidze’s House of Others Nominated For Prestigious US Film Award
Georgian filmmaker Rusudan Glurjidze’s award-winning feature House of Others has been nominated for the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) award.
  Georgian movie at Sundance:'Seriously, We Already Have One of 2017's Best Films'
Georgian film My Happy Family directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross was successfully premiered at The Sundance Film Festival.
Aerosmith ticket price to start from 70 GEL
As reported, tickets for the Aerosmith concert will be on sale allegedly from February.
Ornella Muti: “I will come to Georgia with pleasure”
For the first time in the Georgian media space, Ornella Muti tells us about her daily schedule, Adriano Celentano and the man she loves.
Georgian dancers sketched by a dancer
Georgian dance is an indivisible part of Georgian culture and it is well-known to the entire world.
The curves of the Georgian alphabet seduce UNESCO
After evolving in parallel for centuries, thanks to UNESCO, the three Georgian alphabets became intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Georgian contemporary artist’s exhibition to take place in New York
Georgian contemporary artist Andro Wekua’s works will be exhibited in a leading contemporary art gallery in New York from January 26 to February 25.
This week in Tbilisi: Top musical events and performances
New musical events and cultural evenings take place in Tbilisi this week.
Gramophone Magazine Names Lisa Batiashvili Album Finest Recording of January 2017
Leading British classical music review magazine Gramophone has named a new album featuring Georgian violinist Lisa Batisahvili the finest recording of January 2017.
In Tbilisi this week: Top cultural and entertaining events
Every week Tbilisi hosts a plenty of cultural and entertaining events for both locals as well as foreigners to enjoy.
Exclusive: Georgian photographer captures the “other side” of the world in puddles
She’s been taking photos for quite a long time already. At this stage, she only does it using her cell phone.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
“Have you ever thought it was possible to mix American rock music with Georgian folklore?
Georgian National Ballet ‘Sukhishvili’ are on a 2-month tour at the moment.
Famous Georgian designer David Koma (Davit Komakhidze) whose exquisite dresses have been worn by celebrities such as Beyonce, Miranda Kerr,
Georgian movie Corn Island directed by Giorgi Ovashvili appeared on the streaming platform Filmatique and was presented as part of February's Foreign Language Oscar Series.
Couture Fashion Week New York (CFW NYC), a multi-day event was held from 10th February to the 12th February 2017 at New York, USA.
“The true theater, because it moves and makes use of living instruments, continues to stir up shadows where life has never ceased to grope its way,”
Georgian short animation Li.le has been featured at Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival), one of the leading and most prestigious film festivals.
Famous Georgian artist and illustrator Tamoonz (Tamuna Tsakhnakia) was featured in the first large-scale international street art festival in Kathmandu, Nepal,
Khibula, a new movie by a well-known Georgian director Giorgi Ovashvili, dedicated to the final days of the first Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, is completed.
BBC recently released a short interview of a popular Georgian singer Katie Melua, who has recorded incredible Christmas album named "In Winter" together with Georgian Gori Women’s Choir.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.5883
EUR
1
EUR
2.7402
GBP
1
GBP
3.2470
RUB
100
RUB
4.4717