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‘Ajanta in Armenia’: S Jaishankar shares paintings of caves by artist Sarkis Khachaturian

The horseshoe-shaped Ajanta cave was built with hammer and chisel and houses stunning murals, paintings and sculptures which depict the life of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
October 13, 2021 8:50:39 pm
ajanta armenia, ajanta caves, armenia news, S Jaishankar news, external affairs ministry, art and culture news, indianexpress.com, indianexpress,S Jaishankar at National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan. (Source: Dr S Jaishankar/Twitter)

A well-known diaspora painter, Armenian artist Sarkis Katchadourian was born in 1886. According to the National Gallery of Armenia, his works “have found their deserved place in various museums of Europe, USA and India.”

“The majority of the artist’s works are preserved at the National Gallery of Armenia,” the Gallery added.

Recently, External Affairs Minister of India Dr S Jaishankar took to Twitter to share glimpses of his visit to the National Gallery that houses fresco versions of select Ajanta Cave paintings by Sarkis Katchadourian, who passed away in 1947.

“Ajanta in Armenia. Paintings of the caves by noted Armenian Artist Sarkis Khachaturian at National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan,” he tweeted.

A top tourist destination in India’s Maharashtra, the Ajanta caves are a sequence of 29 caves dating back to 2nd century B.C.E. till 650 C.E, and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The horseshoe-shaped cave was built with hammer and chisel and houses stunning murals, paintings and sculptures which depict the life of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, as per Jataka tales.

In August this year, Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) also took to Twitter to share glimpses of the Armenian artist’s works.

“In Yerevan, Armenia while visiting National Gallery of Armenia, it was great to see fresco versions of select Ajanta Cave paintings by Sarkis Katchadourian (1886-1947), an Armenian artist who painstakingly created these creative works! @iccr_hq would try bring these to India too!” he wrote.

Interestingly, it is reported that the ancient paintings were made from different materials including clay and cow dung which were then painted in different colours including yellow, black, white and brown. The paintings were done using a technique which has been called Tempera, as per peoplepill.com.

Who was Sarkis Katchadourian?

As per askart.com that quotes researcher David Kwiat, Sarkis Katchadourian was born in Iran and studied in Paris. He was most well-known as the illustrator of Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. A prolific artist, his works were created with an Orientalist, or Persian sensibility.

Some of his famous works include illustrations portraying the Armenian genocide and the plight of its victims, depiction of a poor girl dancing for money to survive, women refugees on a ship unaware of their destination, and unsheltered, desperate refugees in the vicinity of the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin.

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