Сумбаташвили Иосиф Георгиевич  
Иркутская история (1959)  

Эскиз Иосифа Сумбаташвили

Iosif Sumbatashvili

People’s Artist of the Soviet Union, Laureate of the Soviet Union State Award, Russian Festival of Performing Arts “Golden Mask” Award winner (nomination “Honour and Dignity”).

Iosif Georgievich Sumbatashvili was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, 10 (23) October, 1915. He studied in Civil Engineering College and graduated from the painting department of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts.

In 1942 Iosif Sumbatashvili became Art Director of the Paliashvili Opera House and was invited to the Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre for the decoration work of the Levan Gotua’s David the Builder(directed by Tabliashvili). His work received high marks from Simon Virsaladze (Art Director of The Rustaveli National Theatre).

Next 12 years were celebrated with such plays as Zakaria Paliashvili’s Twilight (Tbilisi Opera House), Euripides’s Medea and Alexander Ostrovsky’s Without a Dowry Kote Marjanishvili State Drama) and films as Keto and Kote, Magdanas Lurja as well as with numerous cartoons. 

In 1958 Iosif Sumbatashvili began his work in Moscow as a decorator for the Aleksei Arbuzov’s Irkutsk Story (The Vakhtangov Theatre). In 1962 he was appointed an Art Director at the Central Academic Theatre of the Russian Army where together with the Director of this theatre Leonid Heifetz he created outstanding images for such plays as Uncle Vanya, Pavel the First of Russia, Masquerade, Yakov Bogomolov and Ivan the Terrible’s Death which was marked with a gold medal of the International Stagecraft Exhibition Prague Quadriennale. This work is believed to have a great influence over the tradition of the Russian historical plays decoration.

The name of Iosif Sumbatashvili is strongly connected with such theatres as The Moscow Art Theatre, Moscow Maly Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre, Novosibirsk Opera House. He also had a vast experience of working abroad – in Poland, Bulgaria, Germany (mainly Saarbr?cken and Leipzig) and many others.Among Russian theatres The Vakhtangov and The Central Academic Theatre of the Russian Army played the most important role in Sumbatashvili’s life. In the latter he worked as an Art Director till his very last day.

Iosif Georgievich Sumbatashvili died 11 February, 2012.

From the work in the Vakhtangov theater
Theater work