Shmerling Oscar

Tbilisi, Georgia

(TBILISI 1863 – TBILISI 1938)

Born in the nineteenth century, artist O. Schmerling lived in Georgia at the beginning of the twentieth century, with fellow artist D. Rotter. There they were most well known for illustratingMolla Nasraddin, a magazine of political satire [1906-1931]. Magazines like Molla Nasraddi, as well as satirical graphics and illustrations were popular in this region. Painters O.Shmerling, I.Rotter, and A.Azimzade were engaged in graphic art, depicting subjects which related to the political problems of the time. At the beginning of the twentieth century, when the diverse and often Muslim public of this region were not actively involved in political life, the press acquired special significance. The most prominent phenomenon of the public life of the Turkic-speaking Caucasus in the period was the publication of the satirical journal Molla Nasraddin in Tiflis. The journal was founded by a Meskhetian Turk from the town of Akhaltsikhe, the journalist Omar Faik Neimanzade and the Azerbaijani writer Jalil Mammadquluzade. Molla Nasraddin had great success. Apart from its sharp satirical articles, the journal gained its popularity, especially among the illiterate members of the population, thanks to its caricatures – mainly the work of artists-caricaturists, O. Schmerling and D. Rötter. Illustrations drawn by the two Caucasian Germans were published in each issue of the journal. Schmerling also taught at the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts, with I. Nikoladze and M. Toidze.


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