The artist Sarian, consciously and instinctively… with diligence studied colors and forms of Armenia and the East, in particular our miniature - this age-long rich heritage and his creativity arises from this material: entirely and purely Armenian, stylish and ancestral.

Thus he substantiates our painting with scientific basis or rather restores and develops the old, as the elements of his new creative activity live in remote ages on his native soil.

                                                                                                Avetik Issahakian, 1924
    MARTIROS  SARIAN  »  MEMORIES  ABOUT  SARIAN

Sergey Makovsky, art critic, 1911

Sarian's works struck me by their enchanting fantasies, the sheer simplicity of drawing and colouring and, particularly, their unique character and their almost childish spontaneity, which could not be associated with any of the Paris or Moscow Primitivists. Every “fairy tale” possessed a magic of its own, a hypnosis by which the subtle curve of a line, a peculiarly shaped patch of colour, or a deliberately distorted proportion and a misplaced accent, are more convincing than any attempt at verisimilitude, and capable of drawing the spectator into their magic world.։

Alexandre Bcuois. painter and art critic, 1911

...There lives in Sarian a great and wonderful artist. Everything in his manner speaks of it. He-is very sensitive to colour, which is particularly remarkable In his works - bold, essentially exquisite and, at the same time, charmingly wild. His drawing is also unique — odd and somewhat awkward, but concealing a true power within ֊ in short, he has a true style of his own.

Maksimilian Voloshin, poet and art critic, 1913

The attitude of equally simplifying picture and color was a leading feature for Saryan…When choosing a characterizing color, he reveals himself both as a colorist and a prophet of a mysterious soul of objects. The instinct in his blood prompts a genuinely oriental range of colors. Blending one simple hue with another he succeeds in bringing the impression of versatility and luxury.
With the inborn instinct of his eastern soul he was able to combine keen color analysis of the European painting with simple synthetic forms of oriental art. In him european trends quite naturally turned to their origins and resulted in something independent, solid, organic.

Kostan Zarian, writer, 1923

The significance of Sarian's art lies in his power to show us, living our ordinary lives, a Spe¬cial world; and though we have already been abiding in this world for ages, we still do not know all its essential nature... The national style is the highest manifestation of what was created by the master.
With extreme patience and boundless love, impelled by some inward necessity. Sarian reads a new page in the book of Nature - a page of himself, of his soul and of his inner world. Today, having been faced with a very significant problem, he has the right to repeat the words of Tagore: “I was invited to this world feast, and my life was blessed. My eyes saw, and my ears heard”.

Giuseppe Sprovieri, art critic, 1924

...Sarian's paintings bear the vivid mark of such a powerful and original temperament, that the spectator cannot help but be greatly affected by them. Both his palette and his drawing deserve serious attention in terms of the pursuits of contemporary art. It is difficult to say which of these aspects is more powerful in his works. There is something in them which is evocative of Matisse. This is the characteristic touch of Orientalism, although Sarian differs from Matisse in his unique, more spontaneous and unblemished intensity, in other words, in a lesser degree of deliberation.

Nikolay Punin, art critic, 1932

Sarian is a novel painter. He ranks amongst those European painters who, beginning with the last quarter of the previous century, embarked upon creative pursuits — beyond the scope of European an - of new traditions, and of a new language of pictorial forms for conveying new feelings, unknown to and incomprehensible to the old and classical European world. Sarian, like those artists, is an explorer and discoverer of new roads. His entire oeuvre is marked with an urgency and boldness of pictorial message. Sarian's art has one characteristic feature which marks practically all of his works: "flashing" silhouettes. ...It is in them — not in colour, as some people think - that something myste¬rious, hypnotising and "magical" is hidden, and it is these that make him stand out among other talented and cultured masters.
Sarian is a son of Armenia, an eastern land. He is a bearer and propagator of its culture, a living interpreter of its imagery, and of all the distinctive features of its ancient, pictorial and plastic language.

Aleksandr Romm, art critic, 1944

…Anyone who has not been to Armenia but had the chance to admire Saryan's paintings at Moscow exhibitions should be filled with love to that bright country. Saryan expressed its nature, life and architecture in various but equally charming aspects. He depicted the enormous ice-covered bulk of the Ararat, the charm of old Erevan…, settlements, picturesquely formed on the mountain slide, the intimate wonder of shady gardens, cozy courtyards and enormity of mountain ranges…

Ilya Hbrenburg, writer, 1959

Sarian was a Realist painter from the day when his first landscape appeared. He is surpris¬ingly integral and consistent. The word "manner" docs not apply to him; manners can be changed, but not the eyes or the heart. Sarian is not a local painter; his roots arc deep in Armenian soil, but his brush knows no borders.

Alfred Barr, Director of the New York Museum of Modern Art, 1959

I am happy that I have had the chance to visit Armenia and to meet her artists. I must say that my most important meeting was that with Martiros Sarian. I had made my acquain¬tance with the renowned master way back in 1928, on my first visit to the Soviet Union. I enjoyed a few hours spent at the studio of that remarkable man. I was very interested to sec his canvasses, painted in the course of more than half a century (1905-1959). Still full of vitality and energy. Sarian. like Picasso, is as young as ever in his art.

Louis Aragon. Frencb writer, 1960

The light of Armenia reaches us due to Martiros Sarian. A joyous light illuminating people, mountains and the fruit of the land... It is a newly found treasure trove. His colors are so beautiful that in the centuries to come, he should be given a paramount position beside our Matisse and Cezanne... He is a painter of happiness.

William Saroyan, American writer, 1961

Your work is a bright fire which reveals the beauty and dignity of the people, and the world in which they live. Your paintings refresh the mind and spirit of all who behold them. They restore enthusiasm and love for the simple and true things of life - a patch of earth, a stream, stones, light, grass, trees, wheat, fruit, water, wine... truth itself. How fortunate we are to have you - your eye, your hand, your noble spirit, your genius, your art.

Marietta Shahinyan, writer, 1965

Figuring out the source of the amazing harmony of Saryan's canvases that flows on to the audience, one encounters an obvious and ever-present capability of calming the anxiety down. The anxiety of colors, lines, volumes, sizes in contrast and blends. And the calmed-down anxiety turns into a tremendous factor of a complete satisfaction, of a real feeling of existence, a belief in its unquestionable and evident authenticity which sometimes makes it seem like the death don't exists.

Sergey Konenkov, sculplor, 1965

Martiros Sarian is certainly the most remarkable artist in Armenian history. The greatness of his art lies in the fact that the soul of his people nourished in his life. Sarian's art gives peo¬ple joy. It is all poetry, from beginning to end. Sarian's art is really an art which glorifies life. It is derived from an inmost sacred belief in Man, and the value of his traces on earth.

Dmitry Sarabianoi, art critic, 1971

...Sarian did not have to appeal to the Orient, as to a new "Promised Land" which has the power to free a painter from urban civilisation, with the capacity to express in inimitable bright colour, the simplicity of its people and the unspoilt nature of their land. The Orient was Sarian's nurture, and it received him back into its bosom and returned to him his motherland.
...He was cognising people of the Orient who had "polished" their appearance, thought and plasticity for centuries, and who had refined their soul, elaborated their own moral code, sharpened their thought and learnt to express the latter with poetic formulas.

Aleksandr Kamensky, art critik, 1972

…Saryan carried the innovative poetry of life-assertiveness deep inside of his art. He experienced dramatic feelings and moments of sorrow in life. Still he managed to reach a high philosophical point of joy through sufferings and ability to consider the rich spiritual experience of his own nation. That's what makes the beauty of his paintings more meaningful and humane.
That's what makes him more valuable for our time which is affected by lots of tragedies and complicated contradictions of the civilization.

Renato Guttuso, Italian painter, 1975

Sarian never forgets about his culture in his creative work. It would be wrong to assume that he is guided only and exclusively by a powerful instinct. No. Sarian's art is an art well-con¬trolled by his mind, and cultured. That is why I believe that Sarian should be viewed not only as a great Armenian artist, a national poet of his native land, but also as a brilliant and sub¬tle master who has a unique place among the few genuine artists of the first half of the 20th century.

Vera Razdolskay, art critic, 1998

...At the beginning of his creative path, Sarian was able to draw on the experience of Western European, more precisely French, art; and so he entered the artistic life of his day at the level of the most advanced tendencies, not only in Russian, but also in European artistic culture. Armenia, and the East in general. Russia and the West all fed his work. And Sarian was able to fuse all this rich variety of impressions and traditions into an integral, profoundly indi¬vidual style that invariably bore the stamp of his vivid, powerful personality.

Hagop Hagopian, painter, 1972

Sarian's painting can be called a smile of our people. In our life, there is nothing more beau¬tiful than a smile, and the ability to evoke it. A smile is the way of coping with the ills of life. Canvasses executed by Sarian pulsate like a young healthy heart, enduing us with the life-giving energy of patriotism, and with the great power of good.


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