Mirzaani in Georgia, is described as a prominent trade route of the East and West that is culturally imbued with , European, Byzantium, Eastern Orthodox (Christianity)Mediterranean influences.
Pirosmani was born in the eastern rural Georgia that boasted farmers, similarly, Pirosmani’s owned a small vineyard,and fell under this occupation. Unfortunately, Niko became an orphan early in his life, and was taken care of by his two elder sisters. His sisters were in search of employment and eventually moved with him to Tbilisi. From there Pirosmani took on different work roles, and became a self taught painter.
To supplement his income for the tools he needed to paint, he worked at a family manor as a servant, then as a railroad conductor and farmhand. As he could not afford the tuition to learn how to paint the contemporary sphere tends to depict his art as primitivist. But perhaps what sparked his posthumous fame is his unrequited love story with the French Actress Margaret De Sevres.
Pirosmani was said to sell all his possessions, his house, days after his first encounter with the actress. He flooded her hotel with red roses, and right after the rejection he lived in utter poverty in Tbilisi, with his paintings as the source of his income.
The popular song Million Scarlet Roses [Alla Pugacheva], is inspired from a real life painter, who is a poor artist that became infatuated with a French actress, Margarita De Sevres. He bought all the roses he could with all the money and possessions he had, which he liquidated (which means to cash it out in the form of banknotes or gold). And flooded this actress’ street with a tsunami of roses.
She believed her self that it was not Pirosmani who bought these roses for her but a wealthy man. So she departed off a train to marry this rich guy.
Talk about being the ultimate wingman …. Not.
Thus his love for her was never completely professed to her. But frozen in time was the sea of roses.
The memory he held is a love that would never grow.
But at least she’d never know.
(My sister would say but maybe the painter’s a simp).
Btw this was between, the 1850s and way before the 1900s Russian Revolution.
He died and maybe she died not knowing it was him. (But hey there’s many versions of this story)
To sum it up
Rich Girl and Poor Guy never manifests IRL amirite
But if you are a poor simp, you are immortalized in a love song
Still don’t get the girl X_x
I recommend also listening to the Persian if I’m not wrong version by Googoosh 🙂
And on the very same vein, the Oval Portrait as a short story talks about how obsession with ambition to the ignorance of a person’s presence, (essentially the grass is greener on the other side, but you don’t water where it is green), and their submission to you, can lead to their death. Read Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe. How this relates to Pirosmani is that love for an object of desire can sometimes lead to sadness or destruction perhaps, but perhaps that could be romanticisation, as Pirosmani lived the life of a feudal servant and Margaret De Sevres probably wanted a man who granted her stability. Their lives are so different that to imagine being with the other would be impossible. [That if Pirosmani was from a wealthy family perhaps then maybe they would have been together].
But yes on one hand the painter is so invested in the idea of this actress that he wants to give up everything to be with her, but in my opinion he could have gotten smarter about it.
And Poe’s story is tinted with a dreamlike state that wouldn’t necessarily manifest in real life.
Gothic setup with artists and figures silhouetted in the candlelight, sweating their brow to manifest a beauty with fragility, in a grand mansion and cobwebs.
But he perhaps may imply how people are so invested in creating this ideal about a person, without acknowledging their own presence, and expect that person to be passive, without retorting, without tension. Until they cease to exist, and they become a product of your own hands. Their death or their grief is the cause of the machinations you wield upon them. And that is a tragedy.
Although to unpack Million Scarlet Roses, I say its just unrequited love gone too far.
The artist Pirosmani did not die because of the girl, he died of hunger at 56. Because during the First World War he couldn’t make any money and was living in the streets until people found him.
The Art Story. Niko Pirosmani – Biography and Legacy. Retrieved from: https://www.theartstory.org/artist/pirosmani-niko/life-and-legacy/
An anonymous Chikhradze. (2018, October). Niko Pirosmani, a great Georgian painter. https://www.itinari.com/niko-pirosmani-a-great-georgian-painter-28r4