• Niko Pirosmani, Bridge with Donkey, date unknown, oil on wax cloth, 36 5⁄8 × 46 1⁄2".

    Niko Pirosmani

    Fondation Vincent Van Gogh

    If the extraordinary paintings of the Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918) are still too little known, it may be in part because, since his death, Pirosmani’s hard-to-classify art has almost never been for sale. Many of his existing paintings are concentrated in the collection of the Georgian National Museum, far from the art world in America. Sometimes referred to as the “Douanier Rousseau of the East,” Pirosmani, too, was self-taught. But there the similarities end. Pirosmani’s paintings can hardly be characterized as fantastic or dreamlike; if anything, they are transcendental. Partly

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