There is an interesting blog on WordPress called “The Chief End of Life” which displays several stunning pictures of old Tiflis as depicted in various foreign sources (paintings, encyclopedia).
The artwork displays downtown Tiflis as it built and survived within historical city walls, throughout centuries up to the communist rule.
Although Soviet city planning improved sanitary, transportation and infrastructure conditions in the city, it also drastically changed Tiflis’s historical landscape, aggressively interfering in the historical urban grid, erasing the city’s unique vibe almost completely.
Nikanor Chernetsov ambled around the Caucasus with his brother Grigory doing landscape painting and being archetypal Penniless Artists. They did quite a lot of nice ones of Tbilisi.
Aivazovsky was a Russian of Armenian descent, and was one of those landscape painters that just don’t stop, ever, and left something like 9,000 works, but this was his famous one of Tbilisi. It has good camels.
This is from an 1890 book called Russian pictures. I have no idea what all those camels are doing standing in the river, but I like it.
This is from “An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire”, which is a very jolly proto-guidebook from 1855 which notes that Georgia is known for its excellent melons and pomegranates, and also that Tiflis is full of churches and sulphureous springs, which goes to show that some things don’t change.
Image compilation and descriptions from the “The Chief End of Life“