Art was the goal of his whole being, his life’s vocation. Towards the end of the 1890s, he devoted himself exclusively to painting. Pirosmani’s life was hard and tragic. He often made a living by drawing signboards and creating paintings for dukhan, pub and workshop owners in exchange for bread, wine, and paint. The artist was homeless and lonely. Whenever he could afford it, he would rent a small room in the basement or under a staircase. Often, he would spend the night where he worked.
Pirosmani passed away in loneliness and obscurity in 1918. Even the location of his grave remains unknown. As it usually is the case, after his death, the artist’s works were collected and bought, references about his life were sought, and publications started to flood the newspapers. Pirosmani’s name and his works were famed and appreciated worldwide.
Pirosmani’s paintings speak for the great mastery of the artist. Most of them are performed on black oilcloth, which is his technological expertise. It is known that Pirosmani created his works in a short time; it only took him several hours or days to paint. He wrote rapidly and spontaneously. He consummately manipulated with the brush. A certain clue to unveiling Pirosmani’s artistic conception is the inscriptions and names on the paintings, the meaningful connotation of which defines the artistic order of the painting. In each specific case, the common compositional structure, time, space interpretation, rhythm, manner of conveying the form and color expression directly respond to the defining role of the artistic image.