Bari Egiz

Bari Egiz (1869-1946) – born in 1869, in Odesa, in wealthy Karaite family. Around 1885-1889, he studied at the Art School of the Odesa Fine Arts Society, and in 1890, he was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg without any exams, where his teachers were noted artists of that time, including Vasily Vereshchagin. In 1897-1898, Egiz continued studying arts in Paris, travelled a lot across the Europe. After return to Odesa, he worked as an arts teacher, organized exhibitions, and around 1922 – went to Turkey, Istanbul, where he had some students and a private art studio. He became famous as a great portrait artist, whom the ambassadors of various representative offices were happy to ask for portraiture.

Egiz’s sister Vera, with whom he was very close, was the wife of the famous orientalist, spiritual leader of the Karaites of Lithuania and Poland (Hachaan) Seraya Shapshal (1873-1961). Shapshal came to Lithuania in 1928 and in 1938 Bari Egiz moved to Vilnius as well. In Vilnius the painter did not serve in any governmental institution, he earned for living painting portraits. His contemporaries remember him as a great erudite. He loved to communicate with young people, tell stories about art and famous artists. Bari Egiz died in 1946 and was buried in Vilnius, in the Karaite Cemetery.

Reference: Bari Egizas: Paintings, drawings. Art Market Agency.