Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Georgia: Roinashvili's Mona Lisas

The impressions from my trip to Georgia were overwhelming.  I am not even attempting to try to describe my emotions from seeing my dear friends I had not seen in 20 years.  I do want to share with you photos of some of the things I brought from Tbilisi.  My favorite "souvenir" is the book about Georgian photographer from 1800's Alexander Roinashvili.  It actually consists of two books with amazing photos of landscapes from Caucasus and photos of people from different regions of Caucasus in their ethnic dresses. 
Roinashvili's photo studio was a popular place for "rich and famous".  The photographer himself dedicated all his earnings to promotion of literacy in Georgia (the literacy rate in Georgia currently is at 99.7%). 

Have you ever noticed how serious people looked in early photo-portraits?  I assume having a photo taken was perhaps once in a life opportunity.  I've noticed many of Roinashvili's muses were smiling, well barely smiling but still smiling.  I can only assume ladies smiled for the master because of his pleasant and friendly personality.  After reading about Roinashvili's extraordinary life and after viewing his magical photos you too would have a smile on your face :)


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