A book on Georgian book art
17 April, 2014
A book on Georgian book art
A new, very interesting and significant book has appeared on the book market of the country – the Georgian Book Art by Nino Jishkariani, daughter of the famous Georgian artist Otar Jishkariani who unfortunately is no longer with us. The grateful daughter has dedicated her beautiful work to his great father’s unforgettable memory. The level of nation’s civilization and heights of its culture may very well be judged by the skill and style with which it designs
the cover of the books it publishes, especially if that nation operates with the help of its own unique language and alphabet, and if that alphabet happens to be one of the fourteen functioning alphabets in the world today.
As I am writing this humble commentary, this wonderful book is sitting right in front of me on my overloaded desk where the book and paper chaos is creating a most orderly spiritual and intellectual comfort for me. The book authored and compiled by Nino Jishkariani has proudly joined the lovely bookish disarray on my writing table. I am shuffling through it slowly and thoughtfully, and the predominant feeling I am getting out of the browsing process is the emergence of my childhood and adolescent images – I have seen, touched and read practically all those books that are illustrated here as the best samples of Georgian book art. This is an extremely valuable edition! If books still mean something to mankind, this one has to be out there to let the world know what kind of a nation we the Georgians are. Says Nino in her introduction to her exceptional album-formatted hardback: “Georgian graphic art has come a long way of development. Take Georgian handwritten books, created back in the middle ages, which stand out with the artistic taste, a profound knowledge of a book culture and a rare conduct of the letter calligraphy.” These are the words that powerfully describe the Georgian national culture, so eloquently represented by the Jishkariani artistic dynasty. I am also in the possession of the great book of Praise of Georgian letters – the unique Georgian Characters – created by Otar Jishkariani, and now this one – the Georgian Book Art by Nino Jishkariani! Frankly speaking, I am not surprised. As the saying has it, like begets like. This is exactly the case when the good procreates the good.
As the author is telling us, Georgian book art has never been written before and she has made a modest attempt to sum up its general outline, artistic formation, specific achievements and various stylistic directions. Well, Nino Jishkariani might be thinking that her intent to create this important piece of artistic literature was modest, but the consequence of her long and laborious effort is something truly outstanding. Generations will need this book to read and learn from if this nation wants and intends to stay in love with books at all as such.
The Georgian Book Art is richly illustrated to help the readers travel happily through the history of Georgian book design. This is a bilingual edition with a perfect translation from Georgian into English, being one of the valuable assets of the book.
Nino Jishkariani is a young, vigorous, very well educated and talented specialist. She has learnt much from her beloved daddy. This book is the direct result of that organic link between the generations in her extremely traditional family. I am sure that other important and useful editions are being matured in Nino’s creative mind and at her artful hands. Let us have them soon at our disposal!

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