Rustaveli National Theatre (Georgian: შოთა რუსთაველის სახელობის აკადემიური თეატრი Shota Rustavelis Sakhelobis Akademiuri Teatri) is the largest and one of the oldest theaters of Georgia, located in its capital Tbilisi on Rustaveli Avenue. Housed in an ornate Rococo-style edifice, the theatre was founded in 1887 and since 1921 has carried the name of Georgia's national poet Rustaveli.
The building was founded in 1887 as an "Artists' Society". Upon request of the Artists' Society, several celebrated artists were commissioned to paint frescoes on the walls and ceilings of the basement. These artists included prominent Georgian painters Lado Gudiashvili and David Kakabadze, as well as theatre set designer Serge Sudeikin, who is known for his work for the Ballets Russes and the Metropolitan Opera. Two other important Georgian painters, Mose and Iracly Toidze, eventually joined the project as well. The masterpieces that once adorned the lower level of the Rustaveli Theatre were whitewashed during the period of Soviet rule and only a small portion of the frescoes has been restored.
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