Valerian Sidamon-Eristavi (1889 Kvareli-1943 Tbilisi) – an important figure of Georgian modernism – stands out with his genre diversity , particular colour palette and compositional skills.
He made a significant contribution to the development of the historical painting genre, Georgian scenography and film production design: in 1920s, Kote Marjanishvili, Georgian modernist theater and film director, invited Valerian Sidamon-Eristavi to work in the theatre; and this is how the history of Georgian professional art of scenography has started. Sidamon-Eristavi also took a great interest in cinema and acted as a production designer for various Georgian movies and is really considered to be the “Pioneer of the Soviet Cinema”.
Once, he was also engaged as an actor – in Kote Marjanishvili’s 1927 film “Gogi Ratiani”, he played a part of a teacher of paintings and appeared together with Titsian Tabidze and Dimitri Shevardnadze on the screen.
After the Sovietization of his homeland, like other artists, Sidamon-Eristavi had to pay tribute to the ideological regime. While being obliged to work in the framework of Socialist Realism he mostly created works distinguished with “loud” colours and emphatically spectacular compositions from where a subtle sarcasm ad irony seeps.