Hakob Hovnatanyan 1806-1881

Հակոբ Հովնաթանյան 1806-1881

(ISBN: 978-9939-0-1553-8)
Փրինտինֆո (Հրատարակչութիւն) Printinfo (Publisher)
2015 Yerevan
91 pages
Size: 7 3/4" x 9"
Language(s): Eastern Armenian, Russian

Additional Artists

The family of Hagop Hovnatanian descends from Naghash Hovnatan, poet and painter of the 17th century. His name is connected with the creation of the Echmiadzin Cathedral frescoes, which were finished by his grandson.

Only a small part of Hovnatanian's works has survived. The life of the artist and his heroes being unknown to us, a veil of mystery lies over his portraits. Perhaps, that is why Nathalia Teumian, whose portrait he painted, is known as the Armenian Mona Lisa. The artist was interested not so much by the inner world of his personages, but by the human being itself. His attention is always concentrated on the face and the hands, and especially on the eyes twinkling as sapphires and seeming to look inwards onto themselves. Everything that the artist brush touched should rink out pure and fine, embodying his inner vision, becoming a painterly pearl. That was the credo of Hovnatanian.

The sitters' poses are somewhat conventional; their pyramidal composition is emphasized by the gradual narrowing of the silhouette towards the top. Through this the artist achieves a static balance between the chromatic and linear constructions and imbues his not very large portraits with majestic monumental aspect. The Armenian medieval miniature painting and the traditions of folk art were the main inspiration sources for Hovnatanian's pictorial language and artistic mentality. Adopting and reinterpreting them, he took the national painting to classical heights, becoming the last Armenian artist of the Middle Ages and the first of the Modern times.

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