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National Gallery of Armenia

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Located at Hanrapetutyan Hraparak (Republic Square), Yerevan (+374-10) 58-08-12, 56-18-12 (Closed on Mondays.)

The floors above the National History Museum contain the National Picture Gallery. Start by taking the elevator to the top, then descend through the huge collection of Russian, Armenian, and European works, some of the latter copies or else spoils of WWII divided among the various Soviet republics.

In regard to the amount of artistic treasures the national art gallery of Armenia is considered one of the best museums in the former Soviet Union, founded in 1921 the national art museum of Armenia originally counted five divisions including one on arts which in 1931 was re-modeled into an art gallery of its own. The national art gallery enriched its collection rapidly thanks to government procurements and donations.

Currently its collection exceeds 19,000 specimens shown in the Russian, Armenian and West-European divisions of paintings, sculptures, graphic and applied arts.

The old Armenian subdivision owns the works of famous Armenian artists of the early mediaeval and the succeeding periods. The section of the Armenian Middle Ages exhibits imitations of canvases by the miniaturists Toros Roslin, Sarkis Pitsak, Grigor Tatevatsi and others. A number of rare samples of mural painting, preserved in the monasteries and churches of Tatev and Kaghpat, have been transferred to the gallery along with specimens of the applied arts.

Armenian painting of modern times is represented by the productions of Hakop Hovnatanian, a magnificent adept of portrait painting of the past century, his contemporary Stepanos Ner-cissian, the immortal sea-scapist Hovhannes Ayvazovsky, the gorgeous landscapes of Gevork Bashinjaghian, the refined multi-genre art of Vartkes Soureniants, the colourful canvases of Yeghishe Tadevossian and Panos Terlemezian, Edgar Shahin's wonderful etchings pervaded with deep-souled feelings, Hakop Gyurjian's exalted, highly expressive sculptures, etc.

The works of the 20th century classical artists, who have been the trailblazers of Soviet Armenian art, are also shown in monographic presentation. The list includes such past-masters of Armenian painting as Step an Aghajanian, Sedrak Arakelian, Hakop Kojoyan. Martiros Sarian, Gabriel Gyurjian who have a well-merited representation in the art gallery. National tradition has always been alive in Armenian painting; moreover, it has been enriched with novel, socialist content by such masters of the chisel and the brush as Yervand Kochar, Ara Sarldssian, Souren Stepanian, Nikoghayos Nikoghossian, Aytsemik Urartu, Hovhannes Zardarian, Grigor Khanjian, Edward Issafoekian, Sedrak Rashmaj-ian, Marism Aslamazian and those of the next generation: the artists Minas Avetissian, Hakop Hakopian, Lavinia Bazhbeuk-Melikian, Sarkis Mouradian. Arpenik Nalbandian, Mekertich Kamal-ian, Rafik Atoyan, Anatoly Papian, Ashot Melkonian, Robert Elibekian, Ara Shiraz and many more.

The history of the Armenian people shaped a peculiar chapter also in Armenian painting. The art of the Armenians living abroad develops parallel to the basic trend in the national art. Exposed to view in the gallery are the best hangings of such popular artists of the Armenian Diaspora as Carzou, Jansem, R. Jeranian, J. Orakian, Armis, Tirid, S. Khachaturian, G. Shiltian, Khoren Der-Harootian, A. Zorian, G. Avakian, A. Tadossian, P. Kirakossian and others.

Armenian national applied art is also displayed in profusion. The division of Russian art, rich and varied, has placed on show the works of a great many famous Russian artists.

The collection of Russian art in the museum was enriched thanks to the transfer of the stocks of the former Lazarian College and donations from the museums of Moscow and Leningrad. Thus the art gallery of Armenia demonstrates the pieces of art by brilliant Russian artists from the end of the 18th century through Soviet times.

Representing Russian classical art are: I. Argunov, D. Levitsky, V. Tropinin, V. Vereshchagin, I. Repin, I. Shishkin, A. Kouinji, I. Levitan, V. Surikov, V. Serov. K. Korovin, M. Vrubel, A. Golovina and others.

Russian Soviet art claims a large portion of its own in the gallery. Most of the exhibited artists embarked on their career before the October Revolution, however, their art continued to record progress in Soviet times. Their names are A. Golubkina, S. Konenkoy, Nesterov, I. Mashkov, A. Kuprin, P. Konchalovsky, K. Petrov-Vodkin, P. Falk, I. Tyrsa and many more.

In the post-October period the following artists have achieved renown I. Shadr, Z. Serebryakov, S. Gerasimov, V. Lebedev, P. Korin, A. Plastov, A. Deineka, M. Manizer et al. Shelved in the Russian division is the collection of 17th—19th century icons and a rich exposition in 18th—19th century porcelain.

Apart from specimens of the applied arts the collection of West-European art dismays the works of four major national schools from the 14th to the 19th centuries: Italian, Flemish, Dutch and French. Representing the Italian school are the productions of Garofalo, J. Bassano, Tintoretto, G. Strozzi, J. Lanfranco, F. Guardi, A. Kanovy; Flemish—Rubens, Vandyke, J. Jordaens, J. Feit; Dutch—van Goyen, K. Berham, K. Dujardin, K. Netcher, P. Kodde, G. Flinka; French—J. O. Fragonard, Greuze, F. Drouais, H. Robert, J. Vernet, T. Rousseau, Diaz, Boudin, G. Courbet, A. Monticelli. Even an incomplete enumeration of the names of the artists gives an idea of the scope and high artistic value of the exhibits of the gallery.

The National Art Gallery of Armenia has a number of branches in Yerevan and other towns of the republic. The memorial-houses of the artist Hakop Kojoyan and the sculptor Ara Sarkissian are in the capital. They exhibit the best works of the two far-famed men of arts.

There are branches of the gallery in Echmiadzin, Hrazdan, Jermuk, Yeghegnadzor, Gyumri, Martuni and Sisian.

External Links

See also

Downtown Yerevan Street Map