What to see at the National Gallery of Armenia

Lusine Vardanyan | Live the World

November 23, 2022

This story is to continue my previous article titled as “Two unique galleries in Yerevan” and to make you learn about another, not less inspiring and interesting, house of art. Here is what to see at the National Gallery of Armenia.

The National Gallery of Armenia was founded by the decision of the Government of Armenia at the beginning of the 18th century. The director of the gallery was a painter Martiros Saryan, about whose House-museum you can read in a different article. The gallery is located in the heart of Yerevan, and there can not be any traveler that would not pass by it, at least a couple of times during the visit. In the very beginning, the collection of the gallery was based on the donations made by different local and international artists. Among them was Terlemezyan, after whom currently the State College of Fine Arts is named. For example, Saryan has around 240 units of his works kept in the National Gallery (some in the halls and some in the storage). Among those painters who donated their works, there were also famous Russians such as Benois, Ostroumova-Lebedeva, and many others.


Picture © credits to efesenco

The paintings

In the gallery, there are both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Here, you can find the artworks in the forms of paintings, sculptures, as well as graphics. The paintings are from the 6th to 12th century. Those are represented in different styles and by different artists, that put a unique symbolism and coloristic language in their works. Among the paintings, you can find the portraits, landscapes and other types of works. A huge part occupied by the works of classics. Even in the Armenian modern art, you can notice the influence of classic style you find in the Gallery.

The sculptures

The sculptures were created in Armenia even in the prehistoric times. However, the development of the Armenian sculptures, in the form of standing sculpture, began with a help of European and Russian specialists. Many sculptures represented at the gallery belong to the artists who spent years in European countries, studying and exploring new technics. The pieces shaped by famous Armenian artists are made of different materials including stone, wood, and bronze.


Picture © credits to rparys

The Graphics

The graphics section is also an integral part of the gallery. Here, there are around four thousand works of that kind. The signs of graphics were noticed already in the ancient Armenian manuscripts. At the National Gallery, one can see how the development in this field took place. However, the earliest graphics belongs to the 17th century. There are portraits, landscapes and book illustrations. The collection includes the works of locals as well as Armenians, who used to live abroad.

This was a small guided tour through the National Gallery of Armenia to inform you on what to see there. In general, visiting the gallery can be a step forward to get closer and to understand better the art & cultural life the country you visit.

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