The people of Shusha made it the pearl of the Caucasus, the cradle of our culture, the mugham-singing heart of Azerbaijan
Jalal Maharram oghlu Garyaghdi (2 June 1914, Shusha – June 2001 Baku, Azerbaijan) was an Azerbaijani monumentalist sculptor and People’s Artist of Azerbaijan (1960). He was one of the pioneer monumentalist sculptors of Azerbaijan, along with Fuad Abdurahmanov.
Jalal Garyaghdi was born on 2 June 1914 in Shusha. He was keen on painting and modeling in school years. After graduating from the secondary school, he was sent to Baku and entered Azerbaijan State College of Arts. Such eminent Russian realist artists as Gerasimov, Pridatok and Kosichkin taught at that school at the time. The latter had a great role in the development of Garyaghdi’s interest in landscape painting. While studying at the college, he attended the studios of Yelizaveta Tripolskaya and Pinhas Sabsai. After graduating from college in Baku, he entered the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, where he was admitted in the class of a talented sculptor and pedagogue professor Iakob Nikoladze (1976-1951), in 1934. Nikoladze’s teaching system was based on thorough and attentive study of landscape. He helped Garyaghdi develop the skill of seeing nature and giving it sharp plastic forms. Results of Nikoladze’s system are reflected in earlier works of Garyaghdi. Even during his education, he made a bass-relief of Alexander Pushkin timed to the poet’s anniversary in 1937. After returning to Baku, Jalal Garyaghdi started working independently. The bas-relief portrait of Shota Rustaveli and sculptural figure of young Stalin were among his works created in that period. Two-meter tall sculpture of a kolkhoz farmer man, which was used in the design of the Gagajukh-chab pipe (a line of Samur-Davachi canal) along with a monumental statue of a kolkhoz farmer woman by Yelizaveta Tripolskaya and bas-reliefs of Pinhas Sabsai, was one of Garyaghdi’s first monumental works.
The statues Kolkhoz farmer, Vagif, the bas-relief sketch Farhad, cleaving the Bisutun rock, the project of Nizami’s monument, portraits of Stalin, Dzhaparidze and Fioletov – all these works are related to pre-wartime period. Garyaghdi taught at the Azerbaijan State College of Arts for many years. In 1954, he was awarded with the honorary title of Honored Art Worker of the Azerbaijan SSR for his creative activity. Portraits of Bulbul, Rashid Behbudov, Jahangir Jahangirov, Khurshidbanu Natavan, Mirza Alakbar Sabir and Niyazi are considered the best creations of the sculptor. Sculptural portrait of Gara Garayev (1965) is among the best portrait images in by Garyaghdi. Compositional portraits such as Young girl, Kamancha player, Tar player and others occupy a distinct place in Garyaghdi’s creative work. In 1950, the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan announced a contest for the best project of a monument to Vladimir Lenin to be installed at the Government House of Azerbaijan. Jalal Garyaghdi won this contest. The work on the image of Lenin lasted for four years. The sculptor thoroughly researched approaches of N. Andreyev, S. D. Merkurov and M. Manizer, who created the best sculptures of Lenin in the Soviet Union. In 1955, the 11-metre bronze sculpture was installed.
In the mid 1950s, Garyaghdi began to work on a monument to Sabir, an Azerbaijani satirical poet of the nineteenth century, which was erected in 1958 in the centre of Baku. The bronze sculpture was thoroughly harmonized with its pedestal (architects Ismayilov and Alizadeh). The most significant works of the sculptor, created in the 1970s, were dedicated to participants of October Revolution and the Great Patriotic War. The best of them are the monument to Nariman Narimanov, installed in Baku (1972), the memorial to fallen soldiers in Barda city (1979) and the monument to General Hazi Aslanov, installed in Lankaran – motherland of the twice Hero of Soviet Union, in 1984.
Jalal Garyaghdi died in 2001 and was buried in the Alley of Honor, in Baku.