Armenians in Galicia – Christopher Zakharia Zakhnovich

Christopher Zakharia Zakhnovich is one of the most famous Armenian artists of Lviv, a merchant, an authorized deputy of the guild master of the Lviv painters’ guild, a nobleman, and a public figure of the 17th century.

A skilled translator from Eastern languages, he was thrice an ambassador to the camp of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the Moscow voivode Vasily Buturlin, when they stood with their troops at the walls of Lviv.

At that time, Lviv managed to ransom itself from the assault for a lot of money and saved the city from destruction. In addition, the Polish king sent him to Chigirin for negotiations with B. Khmelnytsky.

The artist Yevgeny Turbatsky (Yevhen Turbatsky – a Ukrainian master from the cohort of impressionist artists) depicted the Lviv embassy in the camp of B. Khmelnytsky – it included the doctor of law Samuel Kushevich, “senior of the Armenian nation” Khristofor Zakhnovich and the Rusyn merchant Pavel Lavrisevich.

Zakhnovich himself is also credited with the historical painting “Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky refuses to siege Lviv on November 8, 1655”.

Ashot Abrahamyan

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan

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