If you walk on Rustaveli Street, you will surely notice a very beautiful building that was built in 1888 under the name of Temple of Glory. After the victory over the Caucasian peoples, the Russian tsars wanted to present their own military force and made in this building the military-historic museum, which existed till 1914 – the beginning of WWI.
The second life of the museum as Picture Gallery began in 1920. The first exhibition was the fruit of Dimitri Shevardnadze’s hard work collecting as many fine art works as were available in Georgia at the time. Dimitri Shevardnadze is a well-known Georgian painter, who was shot to death during Bolshevik Repressions in 1937.
This nice building was designed by German architect Albert Zaltsman, it is a prototype of the exhibition hall of P. Pianchentini in Rome. The beautiful façade of the Gallery brilliantly builds on top of the development of the surrounding area. The glass roofing of the exhibition halls is also very interesting.
Because of my love for painting, the gallery is one of my favorite places. In recent times, the temporary exhibitions have given us – culture lovers – a special pleasure. Not long ago, there was a Botticelli & Caravaggio exhibition. Nowadays, till April 3rd, the Gallery hosts the exhibition “Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel – Preparatory Drawings”.
For understanding Georgia better, you should of course also look at the exhibition of three well-known Georgian painters: Pirosmani, Gudiashvili and Kakabadze (you can read more about Pirosmani and Gudiashvili in my other articles).