Yerevan Celebrates 130th Birthday of Painter Martiros Saryan

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YEREVAN (PanArmenian.Net) — Yerevan celebrated the 130th birthday of Armenian painter Martiros Saryan. To mark the jubilee, the Martiros Saryan Museum launched an exhibition of Saryan’s work and his contemporaries’ photos.
An exhibition of Saryan’s works opened at the State Tretyakov Gallery Friday, January 26.
Saryan (1880-1972), was born in Nor Nakhijevan (now part of Rostov-on-Don, Russia).
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; and “In the Armenian village,” which were 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 organize 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 the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and designed the curtain for the first Armenian state theatre.
From 1926-1928, he lived and worked in Paris, but most of his 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’s Supreme Soviet and was thrice awarded the Order of Lenin.
Saryan died in Yerevan on May 5, 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.

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