Georgian Mural Painting as Gift to the Swedish University College of Arts Crafts and Design
13 December 2004
The Georgian artist Lasha Matiashvili, who made the fresco "Saint Lucia"
gives the painting to the Swedish University College of Arts Crafts and Design
in return for his education and training. "Saint Lucia" took about six weeks
to accomplish and for Lasha it was a very heavy job since this very technique
normally needs cooperation between two persons or more. The work of art is made
by the Venezian stucco lustro technique or the bella pica
technique, which is used more commonly today, an art technique used in the
ancient Italian city of Pompeii and was found through the excavations of the city
Stuco lustro is a wet technique where the background of the painting first must
be prepared with many layers of sand and calcium and then painted with pigment
and water and then pressed with an iron to get the caracteristical lustre, all
within 24 hours to avoid the painting to dry up. "Saint Lucia" is not a small
painting. On the contrary it measures 2 x 1,5 metres. A big work of art like
this must be made in several steps. The work of art is built up by a relatively
small set of picies, which is put together like a puzzle along the painted motive.
"We wanted to know how the artists felt when they made their picies of art
around the time of the birth of Jesus Christ" and with "we" Lasha means himself
and his tutor and teacher Luigi Inganni, whose father, Domenico Inganni, was a
famous mural painter from Italy who introduced the technique in Sweden. "In
addition, we also wanted to use ancient methods in modern style" and then the
coice of motive fell on the higly topical Lucia. This work of art is one of the
first in Sweden made by the stuco lustro technique, but many world famous artists
like Michelangelo, Mazacho, Giotto, Rafael and Leonardo used the wet art technique.
However, they did not work with iron, so here Lasha is unique. He has written
down the line of action for every step because it was originally an experiment.
Anyhow, if we may say it ourselves, we just wonder how good a real fresco can get.
Stuco lustro was not the single technique used in Pompeii so next year Lasha
will work with other techniques which has been found there.
Lasha is one of four international students, who every year get the opportunity
to study at the Swedish University College of Arts Crafts and Design. Earlier,
he has been studying arts in Georgia, first one year at the Technical School of
Art in Tbilisi which was followed by five years of studies at the Georgian
Academy of Art. Thanks to his sister Tamuna, who attended a master's course in
land management in Stockholm a few years ago, he got the opportunity to get here
after she informed him about the possibility. Lasha has learnt a lot
from the studies and he likes his classmates very much. "But the best with the
education is the relation teacher-student", he says and it is already decided
the he and his teacher will visit Georgia and Lasha's family next year. Like for
all Georgians the family is important and he sends them all a greeting now in
Lasha Matiashvili is 32 years old and he is born in Tbilisi, but he has his roots
in Sighnaghi in the wine-district Kakheti, in eastern Georgia.
University College of Arts Crafts and Design
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