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Fine art

Mural painting

Some fragments of mural paintings are still  referred to the Hellenistic period and were found in the capital of ancient Armenia Artashat. For the further development of the all Armenian culture the acceptance of Christianity as the state religion in the early years of the IV century becomes a key historical event. The history of medieval Armenian art originates since the IV century. The earliest remains of the Armenian fresco belong to the V-VII centuries (Yereruyk, Kasahskaya basil, Lmbatavank, Aruchavank). Tatev monastery of the beginning of X century preserved the image of part of the scene of the Last Judgment, which in its composition is close to the Western European monuments. The most notable paintings in Akhtamar are of the first quarter of X century, the creation of which was also reported in the historical sources. Paintings of XII-XIV centuries preserved in Bahtageki in Ani and in Haghpat, in Dadivank, as well as in Armenian-Chalcedonian monasteries of Akhtala and Tigran Onentsa.

Miniature painting

The earliest monuments of Armenian miniatures relate to VI-VII centuries. . About 10 thousand of the remaining 30 thousand Armenian medieval manuscripts are illustrated,  5-7 thousand  of which are full-fledged thumbnail. Already in the IX-X centuries in the Armenian miniature two main directions are noticable: the first one is due to the orders of the feudal nobility, this group is characterized by splendor and picturesque, the developed pattern, as well as an abundance of gold - among them you can see the Gospel of Queen Mlke (862), Echmiadzin Gospel (989) Gospel of Mughni (XI cent.). The second group is cinnected with the democratic layers,  of different graphic quality, laconic, proximity to folk art, as well as individual and expressive movements of images - Gospel of 986, 1018 and 1038 years.

Armenian miniature has a number of major groups and development stages: before the XI century; School of the Great and Little Armenia XI-XII centuries; Cilician Armenia XII-XIV centuries; School Bardzr-Ike, Anna, Artsakh Gladzor, Tatev, Vaspurakan of the XIII century; after the XIII century in the Armenian colonies. Miniature of XIII-XIV centuries is extremly divese, the period when a number of local schools is developing. Cilician School, which developed in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, is particularly significant among them. Emerged in the XII century, it is booming in the 2nd half of the XIII century, the largest of its representatives - Grigor Mlichetsi and Toros Roslin. This school has various subjects. The psychological expressiveness of the characters, great skill of composition of group scenes, virtuoso ornament and accurate drawing features it. At the same time, the miniature becomes highly developped in Eastern Armenia - Tatev School, Gladzor School. These schools are represented in the works of famous masters Momik, Toros Taronatsi, Avak (Gladzor), Grigor of Tatev, Gregory (Tatev). Vaspurakan school is a democratic line, its feature - the predominance of linear graphic image. Rstakes, Dzerun zre amont the famous artists here. One of the oldest surviving illustrated Bibles - Erznk Bible of 1269 of miniature school of High Armenia. The last major miniaturist is Hakob Dzhugaetsi (XVI-XVII centuries). It is believed that his works heralded the beginning of a new, secular way of development of Armenian art.

Easel painting

With XVII-XVIII centuries medieval artistic styles and approaches are gradually giving way to a new realistic methods of artistic expression. However, along with miniature art and murals, new kinds of art - easel painting, portrait painting, thematic works and realistic landscape are developing. Features of realism all more clearly are distinguished in the works of the artists of family Hovnatanian made for the Echmiadzin Cathedral. The earliest of them are three story fragment, which belong to Nagash Ovnatan. From subsequent paintings the work of his son Harutyun Ovnatanyan shsould be highlighted. In the XVIII century one of the leading representatives of this family Ovnatan Hovnatanian lived, which owns numerous images of figures of the Armenian Church.

Since 1880 a new galaxy of professional artists, devoted themselves entirely to the national issues, - has been operating. Since this period A. Shamshinyan and V. Surenyants have been working. The first one - in the genre of realistic genre art painting, the second one - in historical and historical  genre art. In 1890 as an independent genre in the Armenian painting the landscape forms, which becomes the ancestor of H. Bashinjaghyan. At the turn of XIX-XX centuries E. Tatevosyan (narrative paintings, landscapes), S. Aghajanyan (portraits), P. Terlemezyan, H. Zakaryan (still life), E. Mahtesyan, V. Mahohyan (landscape) and others were working. At the beginning XX century M. Saryan begins the creative activity. Graphics develops in the work of A. Fetfadzhyan and B. Khojabekyan. During that period, the Armenian professional sculpture was forming- A. Ter-Marukyan (author of the first monument in Armenia -. Statue Abovyan (1913), A. Gyurjyan. Already in 1916 in Tiflis the efforts of Armenian artists based "Union of Armenian Artists".


The earliest examples of medieval Armenian sculptural art is stelae IV-V centuries - in the mausoleum of Armenian Arshakids in Aghtsk relating to the year 364, 2 reliefs of the end of IV Echmiadzin Cathedral, etc. The carved decoration has being enriched since the end of the VI century... Such monuments as Mren, Ptghni relate to the VII century. The Zvartnots temple of middle of VII century features rich sculptural ornamentation, which had an impact on the building, constructed in the whole South Caucasus in the coming century. In Mrene and Ptghni there also plot figured reliefs.  Reliefs in Odzun (the story of christening of the king Trdat III and so on. D.) Mastara, Pemzashene and others penetrate to Vi-VII centuries. On the facade of the temple of the end of VII century in Sisavane there are bas-relief depictings imaging the insertion of churchwardens. On stelae VII century in churches in Tallinn, Harich, Garnaovite illustrations of the history of the treatment of the Armenians to Christianity by St. Gregory the Illuminator as well as other Biblical scenes , are presented. High reliefs of ktitorov images are created, frequently with the model of the temple in their hands - in the monuments of the X century Akhtamar, Sanahin, Haghpat. The masterpieces of Armenian sculptural art of the early Middle Ages are reliefs of the temple of Akhtamar - a frieze depicting scenes vintage, and figures of people, animals, birds, biblical scenes, etc. In the Armenian capital of Ani, in the church Gagikashen, completed in 1001, the 2-meter statue of Gagik was standing with the church model. There are sculptural decorations in churches XIII-XIV centuries of Geghard, Nord-Getik, Noravank, Gandzasar, and so on. The sculptural decoration of the last one features richness. The monuments of that period – in Haghartsin, Gegard, Arichavank and some others there are also ktitors compositions. There are samples of ancient heraldry nobility, most famous of which are located in the crypt of Proshyan. An outstanding sculptor of the XIV century - Momik - representative of the art school Vayots Dzor. Since IX century khachkars have appeared - stelae carved with a cross in an ornamental frame. At the beginning more monumental, with the XI-XII centuries  they were covered with sophisticated thin, lacy thread.