“Every patriot is honor-bound to serve his country with all his strength... To the extent that his ideas are grounded in reality, his work will bear fruit on its native soil, and will benefit all of humanity.” (Vazha Pshavela, Cosmopolitanism and Patriotism)

Levan Kharanauli's artistic vision is both extremely personal and nationalistic at the same time. He stands firmly on his own soil, heritage, traditions, and the reality around him. He derives much inspiration from his homeland. For Levan Kharanauli, the work of his direct ancestor, Vazha Pshavela, is a philosophy that encompasses the whole world. Kharanauli’s art is something that a Georgian can introduce to the world. It is precisely by dint of their authenticity that his paintings are of value in a global context.

Levan Kharanauli. Vazha Pshavela. 50.5×39. Oil on veneer. 1992

Through his self-portraits, he discovers the answers to the questions “Who am I? How have I changed? What is left of me?” For any artist, working on a self-portrait is a way to self-knowledge, as well as a means of studying, feeling and analyzing various aspects of the human character in general. In his self-portraits Kharanauli allows himself unlimited freedom, searching for an active physical expression to match an inner emotional state – be it a posture, a gesture, or a facial expression. At times he smiles or asks you something; at others he is ascetically strict and restrained, or pensive and tense: worrying, despairing and becoming angry.



Levan Kharanauli. Self-portrait in Black Coat. 49×33. Oil on canvas. 2005

Levan Kharanauli’s code of honor, which is similar to “el caballero de la triste figura,” together with his form of expression, have a lot in common with Cervantes’ Don Quixote, the works of El Greco, Velázquez and Goya, and with the Spanish Grandees and hidalgos. He perpetuates the artistic tradition for which truth, sincerity, dignity, generosity, and compassion are the main components. 

Levan Kharanauli. Gizo Melikishvili. 41.5×35. Oil on canvas. 2004

True interest, love, and respect for others can be observed here. Family members and friends appear to us as thoughtful individuals. Levan Kharanauli reveals something constant, not changeable, in their character. His portraits are sacred acts of gratitude for a commitment to shared values. 


Levan Kharanauli. Grandmother in a Blue  Robe.  85×60. Oil on cardboard. 1989


Levan Kharanauli. Grandmother with Water, 1991, oil on cardboard, 49.5x39.5 cm

Levan Kharanauli. Babo Mchedlidze. 50×40. Oil on canvas. 1985

Along with their individuality and specific character traits, the persons in his portraits share something in common regarding their appearance – a serious, solemn look. They are representatives of their particular time and space. Every era, country, and society obviously "sculpts" people according to time and the environment. In these portraits, Levan Kharanauli hit upon a crystal look, with which the people around him could be depicted and characterized.  

Levan Kharanauli. Bishop Isaia (Zura), 53×44.2. Oil on veneer. 1989

“From the second that a child sets eyes on his homeland, he seeks sustenance from it; he needs someone to look after him, milk and food to nourish him, and lullabies to bring him peace. A child begins to love his native land in the place where he was born and raised, under his mother’s guidance. In this way patriotism is born.” (Cosmopolitanism and Patriotism, Vazha Pshavela)

Levan Kharanauli. Mother in a White Dress. 50x40. Oil on canvas. 2020

Levan Kharanauli. Lela Pregnant, 1987, oil on cardboard, 93×70 cm

Levan Kharanauli. Giorgi-Motherland. 50×30.5. oil on canvas. 2006 


Kharanauli’s favorite subjects to paint are those that can be seen at close distance, found in his surroundings and not going beyond the Caucasus – his family, close friends, native landscapes, and familiar objects. 

Levan Kharanauli. Two-Story Still Life. 80x100. Oil, canvas. 2020. This work is part of ATINATI Private Collection

Levan Kharanauli. Still Life with Poppy. 87x149. Oil, canvas. 2020. This work is part of ATINATI Private Collection

Levan Kharanauli. Untitled. Oil, wood.  2020. This work is part of ATINATI Private Collection

Levan Kharanauli. Still-life on a Background of Landscape. 100x100. Oil on canvas

Precious relics of familial nourishing and care; for the artist these everyday items represent souvenirs of the best moments in life. He depicts the same things as if he is placing them inside a time capsule. A successor of Vazha Pshavela and Niko Pirosmani, the artist breathes life into inanimate objects, and makes them talk. These mundane things with their particular shape, color, texture or patterns, brought coziness to the family, were instrumental in the raising of his children. The artist appears to be giving thanks for every drop of milk his children sipped from these cups. 


Levan Kharanauli. Still Life. 30x60. Oil on canvas. 2018 

Levan Kharanauli. From the series “Baby Shoes". 21x47. Oil on canvas.  2006 

Sometimes the objects are depicted on a plain, unspecified background – in space without a table. Associations with Niko Pirosmani's still lifes involuntarily come to mind. For Pirosmani, these items were attributes of the traditional Georgian table, and he elevated them to the rank of the sacred. For Kharanauli, homeland begins with the family: with a glass of milk poured for a child.

Levan Kharanauli. Cage and Flowers. 50x34. Cardboard, oil, canvas. This work is part of ATINATI Private Collection

Levan Kharanauli's dream world is depicted on his World Map. Covered with wildflowers, the outlines of the continents can be discerned against a background of the Caucasus Mountains. Once more, for the artist, the world begins here with the homeland. This is why his work warms the heart, evokes reflections on our values, and makes us more humane. Art is a footprint left by the creator. Levan Kharanauli’s footsteps will lead you to a place where truth, compassion, love and kindness reign.

Levan Kharanauli. World Map. 150x100. Oil on canvas. 20017