Our Artists

  Martiros Saryan was born into an Armenian family in Nor Nakhichevan (now part of Rostov-on-Don,Russia). In 1895, aged 15, he completed the Nakhichevan school and from 1897 to 1904 studied at the Moscow School of Arts, including in the workshops of Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin. He was heavily influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse. He exhibited his works in various shows. He had works shown at the Blue Rose Exhibit in Moscow.

He first visited Armenia, then part of the Russian Empire, in 1901, visiting Lori, Shirak,Echmiadzin, Haghpat, Sanahin, Yerevan and Sevan. He composed his first landscapes depicting Armenia: "Makravank," 1902; "Aragats," 1902; "Buffalo. Sevan", 1903; "Evening in the Garden," 1903; "In the Armenian village", 1903, etc. which were highly praised in the Moscow press.

From 1910 to 1913 he traveled extensively in Turkey, Egypt and Iran. In 1915 he went to Echmiadzin to help refugees who had fled from the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. In 1916 he traveled to Tiflis (now Tbilisi) where he married Lusik Agayan. It was there that he helped organise the Society of Armenian Artists.

After the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 he went with his family to live in Russia. In 1921 they moved to Armenia. While most of his work reflected the Armenian landscape, he also designed the coat of arms for Armenian SSR and designed the curtain for the first Armenian state theatre.

From 1926 - 1928 he lived and worked in Paris, but most works from this period were destroyed in a fire on board the boat on which he returned to the Soviet Union.

In the difficult years of the 1930s, he mainly devoted himself again to landscape painting, as well as portraits. He also was chosen as a deputy to the USSR Soviet and was awarded the Order of Lenin three times and other awards and medals. He was a member of the USSR Art Academy (1974) and Armenian Academy of Sciences (1956).

Saryan died in Yerevan on 5 May 1972. His former home in Yerevan is now a museum dedicated to his work with hundreds of items on display. He was buried in Yerevan at the Pantheon next to Komitas Vardapet.


       Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (Hovhannes Aivasovsky, originally Aivazian, ) July 29, 1817 – May 5, 1900) was a Russian painter of Armenian descent living and working in Crimea, most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings.

Aivazovsky was born in the town of Feodossia (Theodosia), Crimea (Russian Empire) (modern-day Ukraine) to a poor Armenian family. His parents' family name was Aivazian. Some of the artist's paintings bear a signature, in Armenian lettres, "Hovhannes Aivazian". His talent as an artist earned him sponsorship and entry to the Simferopol Gymnasium 1 and later the St. Petersburg Academy of Art, which he graduated with a gold medal. Earning awards for his early landscapes and seascapes, he went on to paint a series of portraits of Crimean coastal towns before travelling throughout Europe. In later life, his paintings of naval scenes earned him a long-standing commission from the Russian Navy stationed in the Black Sea.

In 1845, Aivazovsky went to Constantinople upon the invitation of Sultan Abdulmecid I, a city he was to travel to eight times between 1845–1890. During his long sojourn in Constantinople, Aivazovsky was commissioned for a number of paintings as a court painter by the Ottoman Sultans Abdulmecid, Abdulaziz and Abulhamid, 30 of which are currently on display in the Ottoman Imperial Palace, the Dolmabahse Museum and many other museums in Turkey. His works are also found in dozens of museums throughout Russia and the former Soviet republics, including the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersurg, and the Aivazovsky Art Gallery in Feodosiya, Ukraine. The office of Turkey's Foreign Minister, Abdulah Gul, has Aivasovsky's paintings on the wall.

At 31, Aivazovsky married Julia Graves, an English governess in St. Petersburg. They had four daughters. The marriage was dissolved, and at the age of 65, Aivazovsky, married Anna Boornazian, a young Armenian widow from Theodosia.

Aivazovsky was deeply affected by the Hamidian Massacres of Armenians in Asia Minor in 1895, painting a number of works on the subject such as "The Expulsion of the Turkish Ship," and "The Armenian Massacres at Trevizond." and renouncing a medal which had been awarded to him in Constantinople. He spent his last years in Feodosia where he supplied the town with water from his own estate, opened an art school, began the first archaeological excavations in the region and built a historical museum. Due to his efforts a commercial port was established at Feodosiya and linked to the railway network.. Aivasovsky died in Feodosiya in 1900.


  Gevorg Bashinjaghyan (1857-1925) was one of the first Armenian landscape writers. He has received an elementary education in Tiflis (Tbilisi), and then has acted in Academy of the Fine Arts.

He studied in Petersburg within 4 years (1879-1883), and his teacher was well-known  Russian artist Michael Claude. 

In 1883 he has returned to Georgia where has finally located. In the works the artist has represented the most picturesque kinds of Caucasus and in particular Armenia. Actually, the landscapes of Gevorg Bashinjaghyan are the first display of the nature of Armenia in the Armenian painting. "Birchwood" (1883), "The valley of Alazan" (1902), "Ararat" (1912), "Silence" - are only some of the best pictures of the artist.  Interestingly that Bashinjaghyan could not write from the nature since he was saying that his admiration of the nature is so great that prevents to work, and he was always coming back from the village with untouched canvases.

Died on October 4, 1925 and was buried at the side of Sayat Nova's tomb in Tbilisi.





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