Martiros Saryan is one of the great artists of the twentieth century, an outstanding master of colors. His paintings represent Armenian Art.
As long as Armenians have lived on the Armenian Highland, they created and developed Armenian art that has a rich history of thousands of years.
The unique cultural heritage of Armenian art has served as a platform for many popular and talented artist and painters.
As a proof of that, we would like to introduce you one of the most famous and renowned painters of all times, Martiros Saryan.
Martiros Saryan: The Beginning of the Career
You may be astonished, but there were nine children in his family. Although Martiros Saryan had a quite hard childhood years, he recalled that years with special inspiration and admiration. Childhood years played an important role in Saroyan’s life as a painter, because they helped to design his visual perception of the world.
Overall Saryan’s life was full of ups and downs, as he witnessed the two World Wars, Armenian genocide and the death of his son.
In the age of 15, Martiros Saryan finished Armenian-Russian school in Nakhichevan and in 1897 he entered the Moscow College of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Even though he admitted that the college was necessary and he was very glad that finished it, but at the same time he accepted that during his student years he was taught to paint in the same manner and spirit as many other painters.
Nonetheless, at the Moscow College they also encouraged to find new methods and daring experiments that helped Martiros Saryan to reveal his professional style and individuality quite soon.
During the years of 1901-1903 he made a journey to his historical homeland and visited Lori, Shirak, Echmiadzin, Yerevan, Sevan.
According to him, all that he painted from 1904 was a combination of the real and the imaginary: the real reflected his impressions from what he saw, while the imaginary reflected his fantasy that he was synthesizing in his imagination.
Martiros Saryan Got Inspiration from Armenian Nature!?
Unlike most of the painters of that time, who were looking for their inspiration in the West: among the mountains and lakes of Italy and Switzerland, Saryan was exclusively looking at the East. He had a goal to understand and cognize the world of the East, that’s why he organized a journey to the eastern countries from 1910 to 1913.
However, Saryan’s art was interrupted for some period connected with the tragic events that took place in Armenia in 1915. As soon as Martiros Saryan learned about that disaster he went to Echmiadzin to help refugees who had escaped from the Armenian genocide.
In 1916 he traveled to Tbilisi and established The Fellowship of Armenian Artists. The brightest event that brought Saryan back to creative life was the engagement with Lusik Aghayan, daughter of the famous Armenian writer Ghasaros Aghayan. In 1921 Saryan moved to Armenia with his family and since then he dedicated his life to his homeland.
In 1926-1928 he had the opportunity to travel abroad and as he confessed he wanted to visit the capital of artists, Paris. He held some successful exhibitions there, but unfortunately on his way back to Armenia, his paintings burned down in the voyage.
From then on, Saryan lived in Armenia and the main topic of his paintings remained the nature of Armenia, as well as landscape painting and portraits.
As a true talent, he also created book illustrations, sketches for theatre sets. Saryan’s former home in Yerevan is now a house-museum, where you can visit and see the master’s most famous works.
Martiros Saryan’s Famous Utterances
Martiros Saryan’s Style and Remarkable Paintings
After Ivan Ayvazovski, Saryan is the second world-renowned artist of Armenian origin. Martiros Saryan skillfully combined different styles together. Thus, got a unique and unrepeatable works of art that so far no one has managed to reproduce.
His paintings are bright, bold, vivid and enriched with colorful palettes. They develop new aesthetic perceptions that allow understand that art is not a mere imitation of reality but it also requires freedom of imagination and abstraction.
At the same time, he managed to preserve the sheer simplicity in his paintings. For Saryan, nature was his main teacher and his greatest source of inspiration.
The total number of his paintings exceeds 4000. Undoubtedly, you are interested in his works and if you want to see some of them and understand his talent with your own eyes, then below you can see the names of his paintings.
Notable Paintings of Martiros Saryan
- Flowering Mountains
- By the sea: Sphinx
- Two Panthers
- Under the Pomegranate
- In the Grove at Sambek
- Morning at Stavrino
- Burning Heat with a Dog Running
- Midday Stillness
- Mount Aragats
- My Homeland
- The Spell of the Sun
- Midday Stillness
- On the Way to the Well
- Ararat Valley Picking Cotton
- Under the Date Palm
Martiros Saryan’s Role in Armenian Culture
Without any doubt, we can say that one of his most famous and brilliant works is “Armenia”. His desire to represent the whole Armenia in one painting. The sketch of this work decorated one of the halls of his museum.
This portrait depicts the gorges of Garni, the nature of Goris, an old church and the dance of Armenians welcoming spring. It also depicts the illusive wandering caravan that carries the past from its back.
Anyone who hasn’t seen Armenia but had the chance to admire Saryan’s works should be filled with love towards this country as his paintings help to recognize the unique beauty of Armenia. He depicts Armenia with absolute harmony of colors and light that gives a deep sense of rest and peace.
Let’s not forget that Saryan was also a great portraitist. Thanks to him you can get acquainted with such prominent Armenian figures as A. Tamanyan, A. Isahakyan, Yueghishe Charents, M. Baghramyan and others.
By using different artistic tools, he managed to create typical characteristics of each image. Saryan also enriched this genre by creating group portraits, such as “Lusik with children”, “My family” and “The three ages”.
In short, he is a painter of happiness, whose art really glorifies life. It is gained from sacred belief in Man. His canvasses provide us with life-giving energy of positive and with the great power of good.
Saryan is not a local painter; he was deeply connected with Armenia, but his brush knows no borders. For the real lovers of Saryan, he has a true style of his own.
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