“Georgia As I Saw It” – Rare ethnographic sketches by 20th century Georgian artist
06 February, 2016
If you have not heard the name of Nino Brailashvili before, then you must definitely read this small article and have a look at the unique ethnographic illustrations presented here. Nino Brailashvili was an ethnographic artist and the author of many sketches depicting Georgia’s folk culture. Her contribution in preserving Georgia’s cultural heritage and traditions is significant, since the artist made detailed illustrations of Georgia’s historic houses characteristic to country’s different regions, traditional costumes, crafts, household items and even old
types of graves. The artist was born in 1899 and passed away in 1991 at the age of 92.
Nino Brailashvili

In 1924-1929 Nino studied at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts. From 1930 she worked as an artist at the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of Georgian National Academy of Sciences. Nino took part in many scientific expeditions throughout Georgia and Dagestan, produced various sketches depicting all fields of Georgian art and crafts. In 1927 she founded Tbilisi Doll Museum and the dolls reflecting national character created by her were awarded at various international exhibitions and

Yet, Brailashvili was most famous for her series of incredible, detailed ethnographic illustrations produced in 1964. Her book named Ethnography of Georgia, also called Georgia As I Saw It: Ethnographic Sketches is available on and can be purchased for 34.95 USD. One can also find many of her drawings on display at the Tbilisi Doll
House in Gremiskhevi village, 1947
House of Kosta Pirveli in Iphari village, Svaneti, 1944
Interior of a house in Shida Kartli (South Ossetia) with a carved mother column, 1947
Interior of a house in Shida Kartli (South Ossetia) with a carved mother column, 1947

Tower-house in Georgia's Racha region
Traditional farming equipment - Gutani
Types of Georgian regional dwellings
West Georgian Oda style house, 1949
Bullock carts and old bridges
East Georgian costumes: Peasant, craftsman, and merchant; upper class of Kartli  and Ingilo couple

West Georgian costumes : Inhabitants of Samegrelo, Guria, Imereti, and Adjara regions

Georgian highlander costumes: Inhabitants of Tusheti, Khevsureti, Svaneti, and Racha regions
Girl from Khevsureti, highland region of Georgia
Grave headstones from Kvemo Kartli
Alehouse and clay vessel Kvevri at Copala’s shrine in Kushkhevi village, Kakheti, 1939-40
Georgian weapons and armor
Traditional furniture and utensils

Related Stories:

Founder of Georgian caricature and his illustrations reflecting Georgian lifestyle in the 19-20th centuries

The Mysterious Tbilisi Courtyards

Traditional Homes of Georgia: The Reason to Be Proud