Natalia Phalavandishvili, a Georgian painter, graphic artist, and book illustrator, graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Art in 1945, where she studied under Joseph Charlemagne and Lado Grigolia. During her studies, she began working on book illustrations, children’s magazines, and landscapes, primarily using watercolour and gouache.
Her early works were predominantly rural themes, characterized by clarity and simplicity. Natalia Phalavandishvili commenced her creative journey in the genre of landscapes. Her 1950s works, such as “Mountain Village,” “Georgian Landscapes,” and “Cloudy Day,” stand out with their epic nature, the harmonious interplay of dark yellow and green hues, and the gradual movement of the generalized natural forms, evoking a sense of tranquility and clarity.
In her 1960s landscapes, including “Saburtalo,” “Tea Plantations,” “Autumn,” “Two Mountains,” and others, one can observe a diverse colour palette and artistic decision-making. The artist employs light and free strokes, showcasing her evolving style.
Natalia Phalavandishvili was one of the female artists who joined Elene Akhvlediani’s expedition group to explore the diverse regions of Georgia and their ethnographic essence. Her landscapes bear the influence of Akhvlediani. Collaborating with fellow participants, such as V. Beletskaya, N. Chikovani, and R. Zvarishvili, Natalia Phalavandishvili contributed to creating emotionally and plastically expressive landscapes. Notably, the works produced by the group during their expeditions were exhibited in exhibitions, such as “Kakheti” and “Tbilisi and its Suburbs,” serving as a remarkable visual report of their expeditions
Over time, artist expanded her thematic scope to include portraiture and genre compositions. Works like “For the Front,” “Pshavshi,” and “Lightning of Winter Clothes” are characterized by a silver-gray palette and delicate contours, adding a poetic touch to her creations.
During her trip to Pshavi, Natalia Phalavandishvili crafted a series of portraits of peasants, predominantly in black and gray tones. Among these works, the portrait of “Salome” (1965) stands out for its striking expressiveness.
In 1958, she contributed to Javrishvili’s book “Georgian Folk Dances.” In 1988, she created a large composition titled “Remembrance of Fallen Heroes.”
From 1964 to 2001, she focused on a series of works dedicated to old Tbilisi and portraits of its residents. Using oil paints, she depicted notable public figures, including R. Sturua (1964), M. Pipinashvili, M. Kobakhidze (both 1966), St. Gholashvili, S. Kldiashvili (both 1968), St. Orakhelashvili (1972), R. Beridze (1979), E. Akhvlediani (1982), N. Ramishvili (1985), and others.
Natalia Phalavandishvili was recognized for her contributions, and awarded the titles of Honoured Artist of Georgia in 1965, and People’s Artist of Georgia in 1984.