World-Renowned Armenian Artists

World-Renowned Armenian ArtistsArmenia has gifted the world with artists prominent all around the world, and while such artists as Ivan Aivazovsky, Arshile Gorky, Hakob Kojoyan, and Martiros Saryan are the most famous of them all, there has been a far larger number of skilled Armenian artists that you can imagine.

Today, the paintings of these talented Artistsdecorate the halls of renowned museums all around the world and are sold at auctions for incalculable prices.

Ivan Aivazovsky (Իվան Այվազովսկի, 1817-1900) was a Russian Armenian marine artist, collector, and a patron of art. Aivazovsky is the most famous native of Feodosia. He is widely considered the greatest Armenian artist of the 19th century.

The works of Aivazovsky are among the most demanded and expensive artistic pieces in the world. Overall, the artist has created more than 6,000 paintings over his artistic activity. In 2012, his “View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus” was sold for $5.2 million at the Sotheby auction.

Arshile Gorky (Արշիլ Գորկի, born Vostanik Adoian, 1904-1948) was an American Armenian artist and one of the creators of abstract expressionism. Gorky is widely considered one of the most remarkable artists of the 20th century. Today, his works are presented at the biggest galleries in the US, as well as in the London Tate.

In 2011, Gorky’s unnamed piece was sold at the Christie auction for over $900 thousand.

Vagrich Bakhchanyan (Վագրիչ Բախչանյան, 1938-2009) was an Armenian writer and conceptualist. Bakhchanyan was born in Kharkiv and moved to the US in the 1970s. His works were showcased by the Russian ERA Foundation, pop/off/art, in the State Russian Museum, Stella Art Foundation, and many other organizations.

The artist jokingly considered himself a 150% Armenian because even his stepmother was an Armenian. He is known for his numerous aphorisms such as “we are born to make Kafka the past.”

Zhak Ikhmalyan (Ժակ Իխմալյան, 1922-1978) was a Soviet Armenian artist born in Stambul. His works were predominated by eastern motifs.

Apart from the traditions of medieval Armenian book miniature and portrait painting, Orthodox and Catholic sacral arts, his artistic style was influenced by the innovative achievements of French impressionists and fauvists. His fondness of Picasso and especially of Matisse is quite apparent in his works.

Nowadays, the works of Ikhmalyan are presented in the largest museums of Armenia and Russia.

Dmitry Nalbandyan (Դմիտրի Նալբանդյան, 1906-1993) was a true master of the portrait. Nalbandyan is considered one of the greatest artists of the Soviet period. He created the portraits of many representatives of the USSR’s government’s elite, including Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev, for which he was nicknamed the “first paintbrush of the politburo.”

The works of Nalbandyan are showcased in the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum of Modern History, and the State Russian Museum. One of the artist’s self- portraits is exhibited at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Hovnatan Naghash (Հովնաթան Նաղաշ, 1661-1722) was an Armenian poet and artist, as well as the founder of the Armenian dynasty of artists Hovnatanyan. In Iranian, “Naghash” means “painter.”

Naghash is the author of the wall paintings of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia. Apart from that, he created over a hundred of ashugh songs.

Rustem Yan (Ռուստեմ Յան, 1762-1835) was a Lithuanian Armenian painter and pedagogue. He taught several generations of talented students who would become famous artists in the future.

In 1820, Yan organized the first artistic exhibition in Lithuania, which presented the works of his disciples.


Bogdan Soltanov, born Astvatsatur Saltanyan (Աստվածատուր Սալթանյան, 1630-1703), was a Persian Armenian courtier artist of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich and his successors, the main craftsman of the Kremlin Armoury, as well as an author of icons & illustrations for manuscripts.

Shimon Holloshi (Շիմոն Հոլլոշի, 1857-1918) was a Hungarian Armenian artist. He entered the history of Hungarian art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries not only as a renowned painter but as an outstanding pedagogue. He taught not only famous Hungarian artists but masters from Germany, Poland, and Russia.

World-Renowned Armenian Artists – Part 2World-Renowned Armenian Artists – Part 3


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