Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Zakar Zakarian (1849-1923)

Still life with coffee grinder

Zakar Zakarian was one of the pioneers of the still life in the Armenian painting.Less well known today but highly regarded in his time, lstanbul- born Zakar Zakarian was active mainly in Paris, where he had his first exhibition in 1879, after which he decided to interrupt his medical studies and devote his full time to art.

Photo is from, Gallery.Am

Gevorg Bashinjagyan (1857-1920)

In the nineteenth century, the tradition contiuned of Armenian painters travelling to Europe or Russia to study in Fine Arts Academies.The late nineteenth-century Armenian painter Gevorg Bashinjagyan left Signakhi, Georgia, to pursue art in Saint Petersburg. 

Gevork Bashinjaghian developed the painting of landscapes with his calm, serene views.

He graduated from the Academy in Saint Petersburg, with a silver medal (awarded for his film "Birch Grove"), which gave him the right to receive scholarships to travel to Europe ( In 1884 - Italy and Switzerland ). Then the rest of his life he lived in Tiflis, leaving out in different areas of the Caucasus.

Rethinking Arshile Gorky

Paul Guiragossian (1926–1993)

 The development, since the late 1940s, of a tradition of Armenian figurative arts in Lebanon filled a gap in the reconstruction of an Armenian cultural world in the country and enriched the image of Beirut as a hub of Armenian culture in Diaspora.

In painting, the Armenian-Lebanese artistic movement arguably began with the arrival in Beirut of a young, Jerusalem-born son of refugees: Paul Guiragossian. Initially self-taught, and then artistically educated in Italy, , Guiragossian managed to elaborate a personal style that drew inspiration from the European tradition of authors like Goya, Daumier, Van Gogh but also from the Oriental tradition of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Byzantium and Armenia, and rapidly imposed himself as one of the most promising artists on the Lebanese scene.

 Life in the Armenian camps and quarters (Baraque, camp Amanos, 1948; Funerailles à Bourj Hammoud, 1948; L'Eglise St. Joseph, Bourj Hammoud, 1949), the 1915 deportations and his own family life (Juliette et Mano, 1955; La famille, 1957) were the main themes of his work, all bound together by the experience of the Genocide.

Reconstructing Armenia in Lebanon and Syria by Nicola Migliorino

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yervant Oskan (1855-1914)

During the years when Fine Arts Academy of Istanbul opened in 1883, the only sculptor in the country was Yervant Oskan , who had returned after being educated in Rome.The sculptor Yervant Oskan was one of the instrumental founders of the School. While the reading is interesting, there is no reference to the role and the ratio of non-Turkish students in the Imperial School.The earliest three-dimensional sculptures of the human figure on Turkish art ( in Western norms )appeared after the foundation of the Academy, which soon became the most important center for the plastic arts in Turkey, an institution of repute in which culture and the arts flourished from the late Ottoman Empire into the Turkish Republic.

Portrait of Naile Hanim
Yervant Oskan and his pupil Ilhan Ôzsoy (1867-1944) were the first instructors in sculpture at the school. Their academic method was based on the instruction they had received in Rome and Paris.Also Yervant Oskan was coauthor with the famous Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey of a book about the Tomb of Antiochus and archaeological excavations on Mount Nemrud.

Turcica, Volumes 35-36

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tserun (14th and 15th cent.)

One manuscript in particular summarizes the cohesion between Armenian aesthetic, literary, and religious traditions. Rendered by the late- fourteenth-century artist Tserun, it shows a teacher holding up a tablet — a bnag — printed with the Armenian alphabet, presenting the sacred letters to two wide-eyed students whose hands open eagerly to receive the language(fig. 1).

Fig. 1
 Neither cynicism nor skepticism mar the miniature; with clarity and charm, its depicts the transmission of cultural traditions through the written word.Vaspurakan miniatures were based on symbolic dogmatism accompanied by certain elements of folk art imagery. This combination accounts for the distinguishing features of their iconography and of their subjects: namely, the great role played by images linked with ancient symbolism and apocryphal legends.

They are also remarkable for their stylistic features: the general composition and the treatment of individual scenes are determined by the essentially linear character of drawing.The line as the main expressive device is supported by rich and clear colours.The lack of perspective in the composition and drawing, typical of medieval art in general, is more conspicuous in the Vaspurakan miniatures than elsewhere.

The Magical Pine Ring by Margaret Bedrosian 
Armenian miniatures of the 13th centuries and 1th collection from the Matenadaran, Yerevan

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hovnatan Hovnatanian (1730-1801)

Ovnatan Hovnatanian was the son Agop Hovnatanian ( 1692-1757) and grand-son of Naghash Hovnatan (1661–1722). He was also court painter Irakli II.

Saint Hripsimeh
 The frescoes of Echmiadzin Cathedral, of which repainting had commenced in 1769, were completed during the time of Catholicos Ghugas I Garnetsi (of Erzurum. 1780-1799) by the miniaturist Hovnatan Hovnatanian.

Armenian churches of Istanbul, Pars Tuğlacı - Pars Yayın, 1991

Monday, May 14, 2012

Armenian Influence on Macedonian and Serbian Art

This scene is of interest for several reasons. Though it had emerged in Byzantium by the middle Byzantine period, it became relatively common in both East and West only much later, and at almost exactly the same time: the later thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.The Byzantine and Italian versions of the scene are clearly related, yet they differ in significant ways. This essay will discuss the origins and development of the scene in the East, then turn to the western interpretations, considering the ways that Tuscan painters adapted and changed the image, and the reasons for these changes.

Vehapar Gospel, Fig. 57
Possibly the earliest known example of the scene appears in an Armenian manuscript, the Vehapar Gospel (fig. 57; Erevan, Matenadaran no. 10780, fol. 125v), dated by colophon to the eleventh century.Thomas Mathews's recent study of this manuscript must be considered in the debate on the origins of this image, which many writers, myself included, had placed in Italy.12 Mathews argues that the Vehapar miniature fixes its beginnings securely in the East.Though, at present, the miniature remains an isolated example, I believe that he is right.12 A review of the examples of the image that survive in East and West, and of the related texts, may clarify the issues here.The miniature in the Vehapar Gospel depicts Christ climbing a ladder that is leaning against the cross. A soldier standing on an upper rung takes him by the hand, while two others stand below; one of the pair prods him from behind.Another soldier stands on a second ladder, grasping the crossbar like his partner opposite him.The essentials of this image — the climbing position of Christ and the use of ladder — recur in all later versions, but the placement of the soldiers, their number, and their exact actions vary from example to example.

fig. 58
Despite its occurrence here, I know of no other instances of the image in Byzantine art until the end of the thirteenth century. The theme seems to have been favored especially in Macedonia and Serbia; two examples similar to the Armenian miniature are found in Macedonian churches of the 1290s. One is in the naos of the church of the Virgin Peribleptos (now St.Clement), Ohrid; the cycle is signed by the painters Michael and Eutychios and dated 1295 (fig. 58).

 The other is in thje naos of St. Nicolas near Prilep naos of St. Nicolas near Prilep, dated by inscription 1298-99 (fig.59). In both of these, Christ climbs a ladder propped to the left of the cross, as in the Armenian manuscript. Now, however, he climbs unaided; the soldiers who prodded him along in the Armenian manuscript stand on the sidelines (at Ohrid, they appear in the adjacent fresco to the left).

Staro Nagoricino (fig.60)
 Much the same scene occurs in a number of other fresco cycles in Macedonia — as in a fresco at the Protaton, Mount Athos, ca. 1290-1300, and at Veroia, ca. 1315 — and in Staro Nagoricino (fig.60) includes a soldier placing his hand on Christ's back, as in the Armenian miniature (fig. 57). The composition also appears in Romania and Bulgaria, and in Armenian manuscripts. Except for the late thirteenth-century examples noted above, all the later versions known to me date from the fourteenth century, the scene then seems to fade from view.

The Sacred Image East and West
 By Robert G. Ousterhout, Leslie Brubaker

Nutzi Acontz (1894-1957)

Nutzi Acontz was a Romanian painter of Armenian descent.Nutzi Acontz studied in the School of Fine Arts in Iasi (1914) with teachers Artachino Constantin Gheorghe Popovici and Emanoil Bardasare.

Interior, 1947
In Balchik, where he met Nicholas Tonitza Şirato Francis, she worked many a refined color Dobrogea landscapes covering a wide register, which distinguishes it individually.

Abgar Baltazar (1880-1909)

Abgar Baltazar (1880-1909) was a Romanian artist of Armenian descent, an intellectual with a solid training, both a painter and a perceptive art critic.His detachment from the influence of Grigorescu's manner of painting is also visible in his ample historical composition We Want Mope's Head, evoking moments of high dramatic intensity inspired from romantic literature.

Self Portrait of Abgar Baltazar

Romanian review, Issues 9-12
Plural:culture & civilization, Issue 27,
Fundația Culturalǎ Română

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hakop Hovnatanian (1806-1881)

Portrait of Shushanik Nadiryan
 The art of the celebrated Hovnatanian family who had been active for nearly two hundred years became a link between the medieval miniature and modern painting. Particularly brilliant was Hakop Hovnatanian who depicted a collective image of 19th century Armenian society in unique canvases, such as the portraits of Teumian, Nadirian, His Holiness Nerses V Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and Naser al-Din Shah was painted twice by Hakob Hovnatanian, also he painted Mozaffar al-Din as crown prince.He was one of the first Armenian artists, who in his paintings are not covered religious topics, which were key in the Armenian fine arts for many years.

Detail from Portrait of Shushanik Nadiryan, 1850, 80x64 cm, Oil Colour on Canvas

Art Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan by  Hayastani Petakan Patkerasrah, Martin Mikaelian - Aurora Art Publishers, 1984 - 159 pages

Grigor Khandjian (1909-1998)

In the 1960s and 1970s such painters as Grigor Khandjian and Sarkis Muradian created works devoted to the historical past and contemporary life of the Armenian people.Academician of the USSR Academy of Fine Arts, corresponding member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, People's Artist of the USSR and winner of many awards, Grigor Khandjian, is well known as a book illustrator, painter G. Khandjian began his career as a genre painter.

Armenian Alphabet, Detail
Armenian Alphabet by G.Khandjian

In later years Khandjian used this style to execute themes of a different inner meaning: the history of Armenia becomes the main subject matter of his work.When Catholicos Vazgen I, the head of the Armenian Church, asked artist Grigor Khandjian to do initial sketches on cardboard for two huge tapestries to be hung in the main conference hall of the Echmiadzin Patriarchy, he suprised no one.

Ararat, Volume 27

Gregorio Sciltian (1900-1985)

Still-Life with Fish, 1928

Gregory Sciltian (Rostov, 1900 - Rome, April 1, 1985 ) was a Italian painter of Armenian descent. 

In 1919 following the October Revolution he left Russia and settled in Constantinople. But with the return to figuration classic twenties, studying at the Academy of Vienna Museums and the works of the Italian Renaissance. 

He married with Helen Boberman in 1923 and moved to Italy, opened a studio in Rome and participated in the II Rome Biennale '25. Roberto Longhi presents his solo show at the art house Bragaglia. The critic looks at the peculiarities of a painting where the tradition of Caravaggio and Flemish realism with an impressive photographic fidelity: a perfection achieved with a lens on the compact color scheme and technique borrowed from the ancient painting. 

After attending the Venice Biennale in 1926, Sciltian moved to Paris where he exhibited at the Salon des Independants. In a solo show at Galerie de la Renaissance is one of his works acquired by the Musée du Luxembourg. In 1928 he participated at the Exposition de l'Art Russe at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. One of her works comes to the Royal Museum of Belgium. Constant theme of his painting is still life treated to 'trompe l'oeil'.
Gregory Sciltian returned to Italy in 1934, settling in Milan until 1941, working as a portraitist. Send works to exhibitions abroad (Liège, Berlin, London). Prepares a staff Milan's Galleria Scopinich, reviewed by Carlo Carra on 'The Ambrosian' and a Van Leer in Paris in 1933 at the Press Club of Bologna in 1937, again in Milan in 1938 Gianferrari. He exhibited in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 1936, the painting 'tavern Bacchus', purchased by the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. In 1940 he performed with F. Clerici, a trompe l'oeil for the VII Triennale of Milan. In 1942 staff at the Galleria in Milan and the Million Room at the Venice Biennale. After the war sets up a studio in Milan Palazzo Trivulzio. In 1947 he exhibited at the Gallery of Illustration in Milan in the exhibition 'Painting of the group of modern painters of reality' with the brothers Bueno, Acci, Charles Guarienti, Serri and Pietro Annigoni. With the same group exhibited in 1948 at the Galleria La Margherita. He studied the mannerisms while working the summer in Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda where he owns a house (his widow in 1988 will donate 16 paintings and other paintings from the private collection to the Italian Vittoriale where they are still exposed to Mirabella Villa) . He exhibited at the exhibition of the Portrait Gallery Cherubini in Florence in 1949.
In 1950 a group of works exhibited at the XXV Venice Biennale and at the Paris show at the Galerie Martoren 'Exposition Internationale des Peintres de la Réalité'. Exit in Milan on volume of Waldemar George 'Sciltian: the magic of reality'. Additional appearances by Drouet in Paris in 1958 and Bernheim Jeune in 1974. Anthology Roman Palace in Venice in 1970.
Since the 50 works makes costumes for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Teatro alla Scala, the 60 works on suggetti religious works for publishing demonstrates. Publishes books autobiographical 'My Adventure' and 'The reality of Sciltian. Treatise on Painting '. Anthologies in Milan in 1980 (in catalog written by I.Faldi, M.Fagiolo Arch, F.Miele) and in Moscow in 1983. Bibliography: R.Civello, Sciltian, complete works, Milan 1986.
He died in Rome on 1 April 1985.