In the center of Yerevan, on the wall of one of the apartments, a city lives, or rather, its small copy. The city itself had lived its rich and turbulent life for a long time, and now, only ruins remain from it. It was the ancient capital of Armenia Ani, which was called “the city of 1001 churches”, “the city of arts and crafts”, and “the most luxurious and the most beautiful.”
Artist Ruben Ghevondyan reproduced this city on canvas in all its finest detail. He painted its exact layout with streets, districts, buildings, churches, city walls. Everything was exactly as it used to be in those distant times.
When working, Ghevondyan used the map of Ani that had been created 100 years prior thanks to the Orbeli expedition. This map helped the artist recreate the city in its peak shape. The artist knew everything about this city: it seems that he was aware of its every corner. He worked on his creation very carefully and for a long time.
It took Ghevondyan six years of hard, painstaking work to make the city appear on the large wall-sized canvas.
The artist portrayed Ani in detail to such an extent that it seems he used to live there for many years, and that’s why he remembered its every bend, every backstreet, every cave.
The residents of the city aren’t on the streets: they are all gathered at the bottom of the painting to celebrate the holiday Navasard (ancient Armenian New Year). Here is the king with his entourage and his people, all happy and joyful. The painting introduces us not only to the city but also to its inhabitants.
From the city widely considered luxurious and flourishing, only several ruins are standing today. And tomorrow, the city may disappear completely. This is why this work is so valuable. Maybe, after many years, thanks to Ghevondyan’s painting, it will be possible to restore something. After all, the city of Ani had been in fact unique.