Eduard A. Schevardnadze (b.1928), a key figure in the Soviet government, has been president of Georgia since 1992. Joseph Stalin (1879–1953), a key figure in the Soviet period, was born in Gori, Georgia. The medieval poet Shota Rustaveli, who was from Georgia, wrote the masterpiece Knight in the Tiger's Skin . Nineteenth-century poets include Ilia Chavchavadze (1837–1907), Akaki Tsereteli (1840–1915), and Vazha Pshwda. Writers of that century include Titsian Tabidze (1895–1937), Gioigi Leonidze, and Irakli Abashidze. Painters include Niko Pirosmanashvili (1862–1918), and Irikli Toidze. Composers include Zakhari Paliashvili (1871–1933) and Meliton Balanchivadze (1862–1937).