A painting by Martiros Saryan resonates like a paean to a beloved country and culture.
Martiros Saryan (1880-1972), Ardanouch, 1912, oil on cardboard, 22 x 29.5 cm (8.6 x 11.6 in).
This sale of works by the Great Russian schools was centered around Armen Petrossian's collection. One of the paintings, Ardanouch, an oil on cardboard from 1912, was particularly arresting. This was the work of Martiros Saryan (1880-1972), born on Russian soil but considered the father of modern Armenian painting. He deeply loved the culture of his forebears, and studied various aspects like its history, poetry and art. A prolific artist (over three thousand paintings are attributed to him), he synthesized the teachings of Valentin Serov (1865-1911) and Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939) in Moscow and the influence of the Paris modern school in paintings shaped by color, where his homeland was the pulsing heart of a unique and instantly recognizable style. His landscapes, portraits and villages are a paean to Armenia and the beauty of its nature. This work dates from 1912, only a few years before the torture of this land and its people began. The student surpassed the master, because Ardanouch garnered €18,200, while Korovin's 1901 Spring in Okhotino (32.3 x 67.7 cm/12.7 x 26.6 in.) found no takers.