There are specific places or monuments in Tbilisi which the locals can’t pass by without getting emotional. One of them is the statue of “A Janitor” in the Old Town. It was created based on the painting by the famous Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani. He is one of my favorite painters. He was free from all sorts of rules and academic influences. He didn’t have any education and painted like a child. Because of this he is often called as “the Genius with a child’s eyes”.
I think the best presentation of my city is what Pirosmani saw, what he thought about Tbilisi and local people there. This figure represents a real person – the Kurd janitor of one caravanserai. Pirosmani painted him, because at the most critical moment in his life he encouraged him. The legendary love story tells us that Pirosmani was in love with beautiful French actress Margarita de Sevres. He sold all his possessions and bought all the flowers in the city for his beloved woman. Unfortunately, she left Georgia and returned to France. Niko was hopeless and had nothing left and exactly this janitor offered him to live under the staircase in caravanserai, where he worked.
Today, this picture costs millions, but at that time nobody was ready to see this genius. And the fact that we don’t know where the grave of Pirosmani is, reminds us how we didn’t appreciate a man who came and then disappeared without anyone paying attention to him.