abashvili Giorgy Ivanovich (Gigo)
(Tbilisi 1862 - Tsikhisdziri, Adjara 1936)
Gigo Gabashvili (Georgian: გიორგი [გიგო] გაბაშვილი) was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, then part of the Russian Empire. He was trained at the Academies of St. Petersburg (1886-1888) and Munich (1894-1897). Returning to his homeland, he became the first artist honoured with a personal exhibition in Tbilisi. From 1900 to 1920, he taught at the art school operated by the Caucasian Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts. Gabashvili was one of the founding professors of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts in 1922 and was granted the title of the People's Artist of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in1929. Gabashvili remained a staunch realist and made known his opposition to left-wing art. He died in Tsikhisdziri, Adjara, in 1936.
Gabashvili’s work was particularly influential since he was the first Georgian realistic artist to cover a wide range of subjects, both in oils and watercolour, including portraits, landscapes and scenes of everyday life. He is best known however for his series of vivid portraits of peasants, townsmen, and noblemen. Most of his works are now on display at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Tbilisi.