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Rustaveli Shota
(12th13th century)

Rustaveli Shota (12th13th century)

Shota Rustaveli was the greatest Georgian poet of the XII century. There are no written records of his life. The only authentic record we possess of him is his great epic poem, "The Knight in the Tiger's Skin", in the introduction to which the poet, incidentally, remarks that he is a contemporary of Queen Tamar. It was the epoch of the greatest consolidation of the might of the Georgian realm and the renascence of its cultural life. Subsequently, during the course of three centuries, as a result of devastating invasions of Eastern conquerors, the cultural life of Georgia fell into a decline.

These centuries have left but very few works of literature. But the renascence of the intellectual life of the country which began in the XVI century brought to the fore a number of poets whose works permit us to form a conception of the immense popularity of Rustaveli at that time. Nearly all the poets of that period mention his name, address themselves to him as to their Muse and beg his permission to write verse. The influence of Rustaveli on their works bore a semblance of almost despotic authority. It was only by the end of the XVII century that Rustaveli's poem, having crystallized into an unsurpassable model and having ceased to be an object of imitation, liberated Georgian literature from the captivity in which it had been held by it, while the general course of its development was still illumined by the great poem.

It would be difficult to name another poet in whose works both intellectual and emotional forces are revealed simultaneously and so powerfully as we observe it in Rustaveli's poem. He loves to ponder on various phenomena of life, to draw conclusions and to make generalizations. Along with this, the whole poem is permeated with lyricism and pathos, sometimes attaining the height of veritable exaltation.

Rustaveli does not trouble himself with the common things of everyday life. He is interested exclusively in the general interrelations among .men and in the character of the principal human emotions. Resorting to hyperbole and over coloring, he constantly strives to grasp the main essence of the phenomena he depicts and to raise it to the height of a principle. Speaking of poetry, Rustaveli says that it is "one of the oldest branches of wisdom". He considers it the duty of a poet and a proof of his talent to be able to evoke great emotions, inflaming the heart with the words of his poems.

According to a popular tradition, Rustaveli journeyed to Jerusalem when well advanced in years and died there in one of the Georgian monasteries, having attained a venerable age.


Georgia, 1999, Writing Letter

Georgia, 1999, Woman writing Letter

Georgia, 2000, Man kneeling

Georgia, 2000, Horsemen

Georgia, 2000, Man fighting tiger

Georgia, 2000, Man and Horse

Georgia, 2000, Woman's Head

Georgia, 2000, The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

Georgia, 2004, Giorgi Tsereteli, Shota Rustaveli

Israel, 2001, Shota Rustaveli

USSR, 1938, Shota Rustaveli

USSR, 1956/1957, Shota Rustaveli, The Knight in the Tiger Skin

USSR, 1966, The Knight in the Tiger Skin

USSR, 1966, Shota Rustaveli

USSR, 1966, Tariel at a Mountain Spring

USSR, 1966, Shota Rustaveli, The Knight in the Tiger Skin

USSR, 1967, Shota Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

USSR, 1981, Shota Rustaveli (Sergey Kobuladze)

Israel, 2001.09.03, Jerusalem. Shota Rustaveli

USSR, 1966.09.25/10.05, Moskow. 800th Birth anniv of Rustaveli

USSR, 1966.09.25/10.05, Tbilisi. 800th Birth anniv of Rustaveli

USSR, 1955, Shota Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

USSR, 1957, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1960, Shota Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

USSR, 1962, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1966, Shota Rustaveli

USSR, 1967, Shota Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

USSR, 1973, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1977, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1977, Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

USSR, 1983, Rustaveli monument in Sukhumi

USSR, 1983, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1985, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1969.04.11, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1969.06.26, Rustaveli monument in Gagra

USSR, 1974.06.25, Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

USSR, 1977.10.17, Sculpture The Knight in a Tiger's Skin

USSR, 1980.07.28, Rustaveli monument in Sukhumi

USSR, 1980.07.28, Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

USSR, 1983.02.17, Rustaveli monument in Tbilisi

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