Irakli Tezelashvili

PhD Student

Thesis (Provisional Title): ‘The Shifting Identities: Ideology and Patronage in the Twelfth-century Georgian Art’

Supervised by Professor Antony Eastmond, Advised by Dr Jessica Barker

Funded by the LEPL International Education Center and The Courtauld Postgraduate Scholarship

This thesis undertakes the study of the various identities, ideologies, and patronage in twelfth-century Georgian art. While looking at iconography, material, and contents through the objects of various media – ranging from monumental painting to portative pectorals – the project seeks to tackle a discussion on how/why art could have been manipulated for the manifestation of interests, political influence, and self-fashioning of royalty, aristocracy, and clergy. This study tries to shift the formalistic and nationalistic approaches that dominate Georgian art history to relatively broader notions of social history and political theology while conducting relevant comparisons with the same themes in Byzantium and beyond.

Education

2018–2020 MA Art History (‘Cultural Heritage and Modernity’), Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, The Institute of Art History and Theory (Distinction)

Dissertation: The Frescoes at the Old Shuamt’a Monastery, Supervised by Professor Zaza Skhirtladze

2014–2018 BA Art History (major), Byzantine Studies (minor), Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, The Institute of Art History and Theory (Distinction)

Diploma: The Liturgical Vesture in Medieval Georgia: Polystaurion, Supervised by Dr Asmat Okropiridze

 

Teaching Experience

Summer 2022, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant, Summer University Programme

 

Professional Activity

December 2020–March 2021, Research Assistant to Professor Heather Badamo (The University of California, Santa Barbara)

May–July 2019, Research Assistant to Professor Nino Zchomelidse (The Johns Hopkins University)

March 2019–September 2021, Research Assistant in The Centre for Georgian Art Studies (The Institute of Art History and Theory at The Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University)

 

Research Interests

Byzantine Art, Medieval Georgian Art, Liturgical Vestments, Identity, Patronage, Authority, Legitimacy, Art and Clergy, Byzantine Liturgy, History of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Byzantine heritage of Istanbul, Mount Athos

 

Publications

Books

Dimitri Gordeev, Studies in Medieval Georgian Art, Edited by Zaza Skhirtladze and Irakli Tezelashvili (Tbilisi: Tbilisi State University Press, 2021) (expected to appear in late 2022).

Materials for the Study of the Murals of the Church of Saint Gregory in Ani. Notes by Nikolai Sichev 1911–1912, Edited by Zaza Skhirtladze, Irakli Tezelashvili, and Nikolai Smirnov (Tbilisi: Tbilisi State University Press, 2019).

Book Chapters

“Dimitri Gordeev. Materials for Biography and Bibliography. Addenda Bibliographica“, in Dimitri Gordeev, Studies in Medieval Georgian Art, Edited by Zaza Skhirtladze and Irakli Tezelashvili (Tbilisi: Tbilisi State University Press, 2021), xvii–xxxviii, 500–30 (expected to appear in late 2022)

“Materials for the Study of Murals of Saint Gregory in Ani. Notes by Nikolai Sichev 1911–1912”, in Zaza Skhirtladze ed., Ani and Georgia III (Tbilisi: Tbilisi State University Press, 2020), 437–521 [co-authored with Zaza Skhirtladze]

“Materials about the Church of Saint Gregory in Ani from Dimitri Gordeev’s Expeditions”, in Zaza Skhirtladze ed., Ani and Georgia III (Tbilisi: Tbilisi State University Press, 2020), 522–33 [co-authored with Zaza Skhirtladze]

Articles

“Fresco Portrait of Bishop Alexander Okropiridze in the Dormition Church of Shio Mghvime Lavra (1914)”, Christian-Archaeological Studies XI (2019): 477–515 (in Georgian)

“Materials for the Study of Ancha Icon of Saviour and Tsilkani Icon of the Virgin”, Proceedings of Gelati Academy of Sciences IV (2018): 211–53 (in Georgian) [co-authored with Zaza Skhirtladze]

“Concerning the Portraits of Catholicos-Patriarchs of Upper Iberia (Eastern Georgia) Antonios I and Antonios II”, Kadmos. A journal of Humanities 7 (2015): 188–216 (in Georgian)

Projects/Grants

2021 May–November, Medieval Georgian Monumental Painting: A Database [Phase II] (Funded by the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University) (with Zaza Skhirtladze, Elizabeth Ugulava, Salome Meladze, Tamar Letodiani, Keti Gongadze, and Gia Shervashidze)

2020 November, Friends of Academic Research in Georgia (FaRiG) Caroline Adams Essay Prize for an essay “Intercession Through Dialogue: Depicting the Virgin Paraklesis in Medieval Georgia”

2020 July–December, Medieval Georgian Monumental Painting: A Database [Phase I] (Funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia) (with Zaza Skhirtladze, Elizabeth Ugulava, Salome Meladze, Tamar Letodiani, Keti Gongadze, and Gia Shervashidze)

2019 June–December, Old Testament Quotations in Medieval Georgian Monumental Painting (Funded by the Gelati Academy of Sciences) (with Zaza Skhirtladze, Elizabeth Ugulava, Salome Meladze, and Tamar Magrakvelidze) [Results will be published in the Proceedings of the Gelati Academy of Sciences VIII (2022) in September 2022]

Conference Presentations and Public Talks (Recent)

31 May 2021, International Spring School “Abkhazia: From the Middle Ages to the Present”. Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts; Sokhumi State University, “Hierarchs Assembled: Depictions of the Church Fathers in the Murals of the Lykhne Church”

28 January 2021, Tbilisi State University, Institute of the History and Theory of Art, Permanent Seminar cycle “Issues of the Old and Modern Art”, “Athos – Georgia: Icon of Axion Estin in the Matkhoji Monastery” (with Luarsab Togonidze)

24–25 September 2020, International Conference “Archival Studies, Source Studies – Trends and Challenges”. National Archives of Georgia “Materials From the Study of Old Shuamta Monastery: Dimitri Gordeev’s Journal”

15–16 November 2019, Local Conference dedicated to 120th Anniversary of Shalva Amiranashvili. Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Institute of Art History and Theory “New Materials about the Frescoes of the Tbeti Cathedral”

26–28 September 2019, International Conference “Archival Studies, Source Studies – Trends and Challenges”. National Archives of Georgia “Once Again About the the Images of Catholicos-Patriarch Antionios I: “Mzametkveleba” from Mikhail Sabinin’s Collection”

19–20 July 2019, International Kartvelological Summer School & Conference “Georgian Manuscript”. Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts “Visualising the Bishop’s Consecration in Medieval Georgian Art: Homilies of St Gregory of Nazianzus at Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts A-109”

Summer Schools/Workshops

20 June–4 July 2022, Cappadocia in Context Summer Program (CAPP), Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), Cappadocia, Nevşehir, Turkey

25–31 May 2021, International Spring School “Abkhazia: From the Middle Ages to the Present”, Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts; Sokhumi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia

10–20 July 2019, International Kartvelological Summer School & Conference “Georgian Manuscript”, Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts, Tbilisi, Georgia

Exhibition Organising/Curating

22 December 2018–20 January 2019, “Attire in Medieval Georgia – Materials from the Museum Archive”, The Georgian State Museum of Folk and Applied Art, Tbilisi, Georgia

17–20 November 2018, “Studying Art History at Tbilisi State University, 1918–2018”, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Institute of Art History and Theory, Tbilisi State University Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia

Conference Organising/Convening

21–22 December 2018, 6th Graduate Conference in Art History “Art Studies in Georgia – View from the Future”. Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Institute of Art History and Theory, The Georgian State Museum of Folk and Applied Art

Membership of the Research Societies/Centres

January 2022– The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (SPBS), Student Member

January 2020– The Centre of the Georgian Museum and Archival Research, Founding Member

 

Citations