White Russians are a very different breed from the over-night billionaire oligarchs who have brought their rough manners and Wild West behaviour to London.

ac_george_galitzineWhite Russians were émigrés from Imperial Russia at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.Mostly courtiers and aristocrats, these Russians were literary, discreet, polite, genteel, and usually had left their homes, estates, and families as penniless refugees.Whatever their faults, they were a welcome addition to the drawing rooms and salons of Paris, London, and New York, which they enlivened with legendary wit and sophistication.Names like Romanoff, Obolensky, and Galitzine were the top of this imperial pile, (Tolstoy and Nabokov in the literary world). These pauper princes have enriched the cultures in which they have spent their exile.Georgie Galitzine has many talents, not least of which is hisability to be universally liked by a diverse crowd of friends, who admire him, his art, his humour, and his humility.Georgie has never lost his boyish good looks, or his ability to be amused by life’s difficult situations, in a grown-up schoolboy way.Perhaps this philosophic acceptance of events and fate is his Russian side.Here he describes his painting and that part of his rich and varied background which led up to his career as an artist.

— Mrs M

“Born of a Russian father and Austrian mother in 1946, I grew up in London until 1956 and then on a farm in County Cork, Ireland.

After leaving OrielCollege, Oxford with a BA in English Literature in 1968, I spent a summer as a guide taking American tour groups round Europe before going into the antiques trade in London for 3 years. In 1971 I went to live in Gloucestershire on a farm with a group of other artists, writers and musicians, which culminated in a group exhibition, “Parsenn Sally Cut-outs”, at the DM Gallery in Chelsea in 1973. I then went to Paris and studied etching for 9 months before going to the Central School of Art in London doing Special Advanced Studies in Printmaking, particularly etching and screen-printing. At the same time I had a workshop making theatre props, decorative pieces and stage sets for rock groups, mostly in plaster and fibreglass. In 1979 I started in the film business, where I worked until 1996 as Art Director and then Production Designer on films, TV, and videos. Credits include “The Hit”, (1985) directed by Steven Frears and “Castaway” (1986) directed by Nic Roeg. During this time I continued to paint and in 1998 I had a studio exhibition of watercolours of Morocco, which was a sell-out. Since then, I’ve painted full-time and have had an annual exhibition in Notting Hill Gate in London. I do a whole series of paintings of one particular place visited during the year – recent exhibitions showed paintings of Greece, Cuba, Russia, Morocco and Jamaica. Visually, I’m particularly interested in light and shadows, and in the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. I love to paint pictures of buildings, both inside and out, and am fascinated by their atmosphere and by what they reveal about their owners. My paintings celebrate their beauty, diversity and ingenuity all over the world.”

George Galitzine


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