Serapion Vatsadze – Honored Artist of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, the theatre artist, film set designer, painter, and graphic artist, was among the first graduates of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts: he entered the Faculty of Sculpture and Decorative Painting in 1922, however, by that time design and decoration had already been his vocation – from 1913, for ten years, being in his teens, he was frequently commissioned by private owners as a painter-decorator for the newly erected buildings in Tbilisi. Besides, in 1920-21, he worked as an assistant to the painter-decorator at the Tbilisi Opera Theatre.
While still a student, in 1926, he started working as a painter-decorator at the Kutaisi Drama Theater, and later at various institutions in Moscow. His stay there lasted until 1929.
From 1929 till his death in 1967, Vatsadze’s creative and professional activity was firmly linked with the Georgian film industry – he started working as a production designer for the Georgian Film Industry (სახკინმრეწვი) founded in 1921 and turned into Georgian Film Studio in 1953; In 1938, he became the Principal Artist at the film studio and Director of the Production Department. He had worked with all outstanding directors of the Georgian Film Studio at the time. Among them are: Mikheil Chiaureli, Davit Rondeli, Leo Esakia, Siko Dolidze, Shota Managadze.
Vatsadze’s legacy to this day includes movie posters and graphic works drawn in ink on the blank sides of the printed movie scripts’ yellowed recycled papers. These sketches depict the scenes and characters of this or that movie, or the moods caused by the script content.
Serapion Vatsadze was a set designer for the following films: “In the Avalanche Area” (1931), “The Last Crusaders” (1933), “Shrewish Neighbors” (1945), ” The Masters of the Georgian Ballet ” (1955), “Shadow on the Road” (1956), “Fatima”. (1958), “Mamluk” (1958), “Othello” (1960), “Good Falk” (1961), “Times Have Changed Now!” (1965) and others. He created many paintings (portraits, landscapes, still lifes). 1975, the first personal exhibition of his works was organized in Tbilisi.
photos of the graphic works have been provided by the Vernissage Gallery