The works of Martiros Saryan, one of the greatest Armenian artists of the 20th century, is a jewel of world art. His paintings can be seen in many museums throughout the world. Many collectors also have some works of the artist in their possession. Large museum exhibitions almost always feature the works of this great artist.
In 2010, the 130th anniversary of Saryan was commemorated. In particular, the State Tretyakov Gallery for the first time showcased their whole collection of Saryan’s works.
The Gallery has approximately 10 paintings of Saryan in their permanent possession. In total, Tretyakov Gallery at the time possessed 67 of his works. The 2010 exhibition also featured some of Saryan’s documents, photos, and private letters, including his correspondence with a director of the Gallery Igor Grabar’.
“Our museum demonstrates all the aspects of this genius artist’s works,” told Candidate of Art History Tatiana Zelyukina, a scientific employee of the Gallery, “The jewels of the collection are the portraits of those close with Saryan, including actor Nikolai Mordvinov, composer Aram Khachaturyan, and poetess Anna Akhmatova.”
Some of the artist’s earliest works were acquired by the Gallery in the early 20th century. Among them were the “Green jug” (1910), “Grapes” (1911), “Jugs and fruits” (1912), and “Wisteria” (1910), a piece recommended by Valentin Serov.
The Gallery stores a unique painting created by Saryan in 1902, in the years when he was a student of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. Of particular value for the museum are Saryan’s sketches for the play “Almast”, for which the artist was awarded the Stalin Prize.
The Gallery also features works created by Saryan in the years of his creative travel in the countries of the Near East, including “Constantinople. Dogs” (1910) and “Date palm. Egypt” (1911). This was the time period when Saryan developed his unrepeatable style, which many would attempt to imitate in the future. The extraordinary lightness of the canvas greatly contributes to Saryan’s style.
“When you look at his works, you feel the sensation that they have been created in one breath,” said Tatiana Zelyukina, “It urges you to take a brush and start painting. It seems that easy. That easiness is what the talent of the master lies in.
He as if calls us to art and creation of his colorful forms. The harmony of forms and colors delights and attracts. Surprisingly, Saryan drew many of his paintings, including those of bouquets, in the dark years of the war. He invested his faith into the bright future in his colors.”
Saryan’s exhibition was a significant event for the Gallery. It gave a beginning to the program “Tretyakov Gallery opens its vaults.” Many of the paintings at the time stored away from the public’s eyes would be showcased to the visitors of the Gallery.