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Culture of Georgia

From Academic Kids

The culture of Georgia has evolved over the country's long history, providing it with a unique national culture and a strong literary tradition based on the Georgian language and alphabet. This has provided a strong sense of national identity that has helped to preserve Georgian distinctiveness despite repeated periods of foreign occupation and attempted assimilation.

Contents

Culture of old Georgia

The Georgian alphabet was invented in the 5th century BC and reformed by King Parnavaz I of Iberia in 284 BC.

Georgia's medieval culture was greatly influenced by Orthodox Christianity and the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, which promoted and often sponsored the creation of many works of religious devotion. These included churches and monasteries, works of art such as icons, and hagiographies of Georgian saints. As well as this, many secular works of national history, mythology and hagiograpy were also written.

Ecclesiastical art

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The Icon from Martvili (10th century)

Medieval Georgian icons are renowned as being among the finest creations of Orthodox religious art. Notable examples include:

Ecclesiastical monuments

Well-known monuments of Georgian Christian architecture include:

Jvari Monastery (6th century)
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Jvari Monastery (6th century)
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Anchiskhati Church (6th century)

Well-known Georgian painters were: Damiane (13th century), Anania (15th century), Mamuka Tavakarashvili (17th century), etc.

The works of the famous Georgian goldsmiths, Beka and Beshken Opizari (11th century), are an outstanding contribution to world art.

Literary and other written works

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The Manuscript of "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" (16th century)

Important Georgian literary works of the pre-Christian period are:

Notable Georgian written works from the medieval period include:

Culture of modern Georgia

During the modern period, from about the 17th century onwards, Georgian culture has been greatly influenced by cultural innovations imported from elsewhere in Europe.

The first Georgian-language printing house was established in the 1620s in Italy and the first one in Georgia itself was founded in 1709 in Tbilisi.

Georgian theatre has a long history; its oldest national form was the "Sakhioba" (extant from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD). The Georgian National Theatre was founded in 1791 in Tbilisi, by the writer, dramatist and diplomat Giorgi Avalishvili (1769-1850). Its leading actors were Dimitri Aleksi-Meskhishvili, David Machabeli, David Bagrationi, Dimitri Cholokashvili and others.

The State Museum of Georgia was founded in 1845. The Tbilisi State Theatre of Opera and Ballet established a few years later, in 1851.

Greatest representatives of Georgian culture of the XIX century were: Nikoloz Baratashvili (poet), Alexander Orbeliani (writer), Vakhtang Orbeliani (poet), Dimitri Kipiani (writer), Grigol Orbeliani (poet), Ilia Chavchavadze (writer and poet), Akaki Tsereteli (poet), Alexander Kazbegi (writer), Rapiel Eristavi (poet), Mamia Gurieli (poet), Iakob Gogebashvili (writer), Simon Gugunava (poet), Babo Avalishvili-Kherkheulidze (actor), Nikoloz Avalishvili (actor), Nikoloz Aleksi-Meskhishvili (actor), Romanoz Gvelesiani (painter), Grigol Maisuradze (painter), Alexander Beridze (painter), Ivane Machabeli (translator), Okropir Bagrationi (translator), Sardion Aleksi-Meskhishvili (translator), Kharlampi Savaneli (opera singer), Pilimon Koridze (opera singer), Lado Agniashvili (folk singer), Alioz Mizandari (composer), etc.

The first cinema in Georgia was established in Tblisi on November 16, 1896. The first Georgian cinema documentary ("Journey of Akaki Tsereteli in Racha-Lechkhumi") was shot in 1912 by Vasil Amashukeli (1886-1977), while the first Georgian feature film ("Kristine") was shot in 1916 by Alexandre Tsutsunava (1881-1955).

The Tbilisi State Academy of Art was founded in 1917.

Georgian culture suffered under the rule of the Soviet Union during the 20th century, during which a policy of Russification was imposed but was strongly resisted by many Georgians. Since the independence of Georgia in 1991, a cultural resurgence has taken place, albeit somewhat hampered by the country's economic and political difficulties in the post-Soviet era.

Famous Georgian cultural figures (XX-XXI centuries):

Actors

Ballet dancers

Composers

Folk Musicians

Filmmakers

Opera singers

Painters

Pianists

Poets

Sculptors

Theatre producers

Writers

See also

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