Major Armenian painter of landscapes, still lifes, and portraits.
Matiros Saryan received training in oil painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture (1897-1904), where among his teachers were the noted realist artists Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov. Soon Saryan was exhibiting his bright, decoratively coloured paintings in Moscow. He continued to paint on his travels to Turkey, Egypt, and Iran (1910-13); he attempted to communicate the sensuousness of the Orient in large, fresco like creations. In the early decades of the 20th century, Impressionism exerted much influence on Russian artists, and Saryan's work revealed the inspiration of Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin as well. An extended visit to Paris (1926-28) deepened the influence of Impressionism on his work.
But Matiros Saryan had moved to Armenia in 1921 and thereafter spent most of his career painting scenes, especially landscapes, of his republic, often showing the vivid effects of light on color as its mountains reflect the sun. Saryan also painted still lifes and many portraits that attempted to express, sometimes audaciously, his subjects' characters. Saryan became a primary influence on the development of Soviet Armenian nationalist painting. Saryan served as a deputy to the second through fourth convocations of the U.S.S.R.'s Supreme Soviet. Among his awards were three Orders of Lenin.
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