ART AND FASHION

THE PASTERNAKS

AND THEIR LOVE TO GEORGIA

by IERI team

Sasha wearing Tata Naka dress and Chubika earring

We, at IERI, love beautiful people who love Georgia. This is Sasha Pasternak. The great-granddaughter of Boris Pasternak, a famous poet, who was absolutely in love with Georgia. He called Georgia his second homeland and his biggest inspiration. He translated a lot of poems by Georgian poets and devoted his rhymes to the beauty of the Caucasus region.

Sasha was born in 1991 in Moscow.  She is an artist. And just like her great-grandfather, who saw the beauties of Georgia through the eyes of his fellow poets and artists from The Blue Horns group, Sasha’s love-story with Georgia started a while ago and got deeper under the guidance of her boyfriend, artist Anton Totibadze. Sasha loves Tbilisi. She comes here often and also paints it. 

“Couldn’t imagine any better place to spend this hard quarantine time — beautiful nature, kind people and delicious food. I wish I could move my beloved family here”, says Sasha.

Sasha wearing Tata Naka dress
“Tbilisi patio” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas

 

BUT THERE IS SOMETHING
ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Boris Pasternak himself had a tight connection with Georgia. In 1891, one of Russian publishing houses published Lermontov’s “Mtsiri”, which was illustrated by Pasternak’s father. Though Pasternak’s first visit to Georgia was way later. In the thirties. It was Pavlo Iashvili, who actually invited the poet to Tbilisi. The writer found spiritual relief in Georgia. He got acquainted with Giorgi Leonidze, Simon Chikovani, Nicolo Mitsishvili, Lado Gudiashvili, and others. 

But the closest relationship he had with Titsian Tabidze. According to a beautiful legend, Nina Tabidze, a widow of Tabidze, was kind enough to present the paper packs left after Titsian’s death, to Boris. These papers the writer later used for his first sketches of “Doctor Zhivago”. 

Titsian Tabidze and Boris Pasternak as seen by Kukryniksy caricaturists, 1936

Another descendant of Boris Pasternak, a journalist Sasha Slater in her essay for Harper’s Bazaar recalled a hilarious quote by her famous great-uncle: “Do you know what a litre is? It’s two ordinary-sized bottles. Well, at one dinner near Kutaisi, over the course of 10–12 hours, 30 of us drank up to one hundred and ten litres of red wine. It’s excellent, it can make you unconscious but you never feel sick from it”.

Sasha wearing Tata Naka dress and Chubika earring
“Garricula I” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas; “Garricula II” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas

Sasha wearing Tata Naka dress and Chubika earring
“Garricula I” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas; “Garricula II” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas

Sasha wearing Tiko Paksa top
“Tbilisi” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas

In the book “Boris Pasternak: Family Correspondence, 1921-1960” collected by Nicolas Pasternak Slater, there is a beautiful quote:

“…That was at the end of November. I left Moscow covered in snow, but in a garden on a mountainside above the Rion (where the vino-electric power-station I’ve just described was set up and cleared away in a single night), the last roses were still in bloom. That was in the centre of ancient Colchis, on the ruins of the ancient Mount Ea, the goal of the Argonauts’ expedition, where archaeologists locate Medea’s palace, near the newly-constructed Rion hydroelectric power-station (a real one this time). All that happened on one evening, but there were 14 evenings like that, in various places. You’ll get an idea of them if I tell you that for these excursions, my best friends Paolo Yashvili and Titsian Tabidze used to get hold of a separate railway-carriage with a conductor, who uncoupled and coupled it up en route according to Paolo’s instructions—the only added complication to these manoeuvres being that he used to sleep through the night-time stops and leave us at the wrong places, so it was an absolute miracle we never crashed or got run into by a long-distance express. Needless to add it was (to paraphrase Rimbaud) a wagon ivre; in the morning, on our way back to Tiflis, I was so light-headed I wanted to strip off and chuck all my clothes out of the window, replacing them with new ones. Only the knowledge that you can’t buy anything in Tiflis confined me to throwing out my cap, and then buying a replacement.

Editor’s humorous note: no IERI store at that time in Tbilisi, right?  

Sasha wearing Geroge Keburia top and Sofio Gongli enamel brooch
“Tbilisi window” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas

Sasha wearing Geroge Keburia top and Sofio Gongli enamel brooch
“Tbilisi window” painting by Sasha Pasternak, oil, canvas

Shooting of Sasha Pasternak by Sopo Papiashvili
Creative idea of the shooting by Anka Tsitsishvili

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