Unique photos taken by the first professional Georgian photographer in the 19-th century
23 October, 2015
Unique photos taken by the first professional Georgian photographer in the 19-th century
Alexander Roinashvili was born in 1846 into a family of farmers in Dusheti, a highland region about fifty miles from Tiflis, not far from the Georgian Military Road. He studied photography and painting with Theodor Chlamov in Tiflis in the 1860s, and opened his own studio in 1875–thus becoming the first professional photographer in Georgia, georgiaphotophiles.wordpress.com informs.

“He is credited with popularizing photography as an art among the Georgian intelligentsia, who decorated their houses with his photos of celebrities: literary
giants like the poet, lawyer, journalist and politician Ilia Chavachavadze, one of the fathers of the modern Georgia; the poet of the return to nature, Alexander Kazbegi, who lived as a shepherd in the mountains (and wrote a character named Koba on whom young Stalin modeled himself); or the epic poet and ethnographer Vazha-Pshavela, an explorer of the mythological pass of his native mountainous region Pshavi.

geotv.ge

Famous Georgian writer Alexander Kazbegi

Roinashvili also photographed notable artists, actors, and expats, like diplomat Oliver Wardrop, future commissioner of the British Legation from 1919 to 1921 (the short-lived Menshevik Republic of Georgia), and at this time, in the 1890s, translator of the 17th-century collection of fables, “The Book of Wisdom and Lies” by Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani, while his sister Marjory translated the masterpiece of medieval Georgian poetry, Shota Rustaveli’s “The Knight in Panther Skin.”

geotv.ge

Oliver Wardrop in Georgian costume

geotv.ge

Marjory Wardrop in the costume of a Tbilisian lady

The work of Roinashvili reflects the diversity of the peoples of the Caucasus. Portraits of Greeks, Armenians, Tatars, Lazs, Lezghins join the Georgian mountaineers or Tiflis urbanites (Roiashvili’s main clientele). In reality, few of these pictures were taken outside, as Roinashvili’s famous contemporary Dmitry Ermakov preferred–most photos were elaborately staged with props and involved long-exposure shots.

geotv.ge

Family from Guria

Roinashvili was one of the founders of the Society of Amateur Photographers in Tiflis, predecessor to the Museum of the Antiquities of the Caucasus. During his years of travel in the Caucasus, as far as Daghestan, he collected historic artifacts including weapons, vases, silverware, furniture, and textiles, which he presented at exhibitions traveling throughout the Russian Empire. He is also remembered as a philanthropist, who was intensively involved in Georgia’s cultural renaissance until his death: he organized theatrical performances in his studio, published articles on numerous subjects, and donated books to schools and libraries in the countryside.

If you are a photography enthusiast and would like to get some helpful hints, then read this article "How to Start a Photography Business"

geotv.ge

Studio portrait of a Tbilisian woman


After his death, his students continued to operate his studio before establishing their own in Tiflis or Telavi. Later, Dimitry Ermakov bought all of what remained in 1905. After Ermakov’s death in 1916, Ermakov and Roinashvili’s extensive collection of negatives were acquired together by the Historical and Ethnographic Society of Tiflis. The National Museum of Georgia re-published some of these preserved works,” georgiaphotophiles.wordpress.com reports.

geotv.ge

Scenes from a play

geotv.ge

From a series of “Women at work”


geotv.ge

Women grinding grain, from a series of “women at work”

geotv.ge

Princess Tsereteli of Imereti

geotv.ge

For more information follow the link

Related Stories:

“Who could have imagined we would witness such beauty?” - Impressions of Foreign Travelers of 18th and 19th-Century Georgia


Doorways to the past – Unique photos of 19th and 20th century Tbilisi
Print
Other Stories
Georgian wine in Tokyo Metro Station – How does Japanese embrace Georgian culture and cuisine?
Nearly everyone who enters Tennozu Isle Tokyo Metro station finds out more about Georgian wine thanks to advertising campaign of the National Wine Agency of Georgia.
Japanese Master of Wine representing Georgian wine to the world
Within the framework of exhibition called Georgia – Homeland of Wine held in Tokyo, the only master of wine in Japane Kenichi Ohashi held a presentation about Georgian wine for the Japanese wine experts.
Google devotes an online exhibition to David Kakabadze’s scientific work
David Kakabadze, Georgian painter and inventor of glassless stereo cinema has been celebrated by Google Arts and Culture’s online exhibition.
Zviad Ratiani among 8 poets nominated for the European Poet of Freedom 2020 Award
Georgian poet Zviad Ratiani has been nominated for the European Poet of Freedom 2020 Award.
The 3rd Georgian Film Review ‘Gamardżoba kino’ opens on Friday, April 5 in Warsaw
The 3rd Georgian Film Review ‘Gamardżoba kino’ organized by the members of the Kaukaz.net foundation in Poland opens on Friday, April 5 bringing a range of screenings and discussions to the audience.
Georgian bible discovered in Dagestan
Bible written in Georgian was discovered in Dagestan.
Kintsugi Qvevri – Repaired Qvevri as a Rebirth of Georgia
Japan preserves an art of repairing broken pottery with gold.
"In these terrific Georgians we had met more than our match... "
Soviet Georgia in the diaries of American writer John Steinbeck and through the lens of photographer Robert Capa
Georgian among “The 10 Oldest Languages Still Spoken in the World Today”
Georgia is among the 10 oldest languages still spoken in the world today.
Dutch screenwriter Roelof Jan Minneboo working on new films in Georgia
Roelof Jan Minneboo, Dutch screenwriter has visited Georgia to co-work with the Georgian film director Giorgi Ovashvili.
Georgian wheat granted status of national importance
Georgian wheat has granted a status of national importance.
Nino Surguladze conquers the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
Nino Surguladze, a Georgian mezzo-soprano has recently appeared for Aida’s premiere at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège in Belgium.
Georgian actors awared at Redline International Film Festival
Redline International Film Festival is a leading international indie short film competition founded by Canadian indie filmmakers.
Adjarian Borano Granted Cultural Heritage Status
National Agency for Cultural Heritage Reservation of Georgia has recently announced
A wonderful story of friendship of a Georgian artist and a legendary designer Coco Chanel
Two years ago, a book dedicated to the anniversary of Chanel Brand was published in France;
5 films to know more about the history of Georgia
Georgia has always been internationally acclaimed due to its cinematography.
“Georgian verbs really do say it all”- British ambassador to Georgia about the language
Justin McKenzie Smith, a British ambassador to Georgia posted a picture of the definition of one of the Georgian verbs on Twitter two days ago.
Digital reproductions of Da Vinci’s artworks exposed at Georgian National Museum
Georgian National Museum has launched an educational-multimedia project "Leonardo – Opera Omnia".
Georgian actors achieving their career in Hollywood
The representatives of the Georgian film industry have been awarded numerous titles and prizes for their extraordinary achievements in the past recent years.
Georgian painter Akaki Dzneladze’s works exhibited in France
The exhibition hall and museum complex of the Grand Palais located at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France hosted the works of Akaki Dzneladze, a well-known Georgian painter.
Niko Pirosmani to be exhibited alongside Van Gogh in France
The Van Gogh’s Museum in Arles, France will showcase an exhibition of the works of Van Gogh and Niko Pirosmani.
Tbilisi is hosting 22nd Jazz Festival
Tbilisi is preparing to host the 22nd Jazz Festival.
Find your own precious crafts in Tbilisi
It’s no secret that there are a lot of interesting places in the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi.
Zurab Tsereteli exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London
The artworks of the Georgian painter Zurab Tsereteli will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London between the 23rd of January and the 17th of February.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.04.2019
19.04.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6931
2.6939
EUR
1
EUR
3.0456
3.0323
GBP
1
GBP
3.5137
3.5053
RUB
100
RUB
4.2150
4.2087