Skip to content Skip to footer

Nikoladze Iakob

The first Georgian professional sculptor and founder of the realistic school of sculpture; People’s Artist of the Georgian SSR and one of the founders of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts  – he became one of   its first professors in 1922 .

He received his art education in Moscow Stroganov Central School of Industrial Art (1892-1894), Odessa School of Art (1984-1898) and Paris School of Arts (1899-1901). In 1906-1907 Nikoladze worked in the studio of Auguste Rodin about the  period of  which he wrote A Year with Rodin,  a book of memoirs.

His first monumental work was the statue of  Mourning Georgia for  the grave of Ilya Chavchavadze which was set up in the Mtatsminda Pantheon in 1913.

Nikoladze worked mainly in the genre of portrait sculpture. He developed the iconography of Rustaveli and created the busts of Lado Aleksi-Meshkhishvili, Akaki Tsereteli and Egnate Ninoshvili.

In the beginning of the 20th century, he sculpted a series of portraits of Georgian public figures from the field of literature and theatre (Shio Aragvispireli, Vaso Abaidze, Taso Abashidze, Kote Meskhi) as well as the portrait of  Noe Zhordania, the Prime Minister of Georgia in 1919; After the Sovietization, in the 1920s, the Lenin’s image occupied a large place in his art, and in the following decade, in 1930s  it was replaced by Stalin’s. He also made portraits of Georgian revolutionaries (“A. Tsulukudze”, stone, 1921; “Rosa Luxemburg”, stone, 1922, lost; Bust of Marx, stone, 1924, etc.).

In the late 1930s, Nikoladze worked on high reliefs for the Institute of Marxism-Leninism which adorned the pylons; his compositions depicted the history of the Caucasian Bolshevik organizations.

Among his best works are a marble portrait of the 12th-century poet Grigol Chakhrukhadze (1948), the portraits of Shota Rustaveli (bust and tondo) and the works in the field of small statuary.

Iakob Nikoladze
Date of Birth1876Date of Death1951Share