Posts Tagged ‘Panos Terlemezian’

(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee


Death of Panos Terlemezian
(April 30, 1941)

Both an artist and a patriot, Panos Terlemezian made a remarkable contribution to Armenian fine arts in the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in Van, in the Armenian-populated suburb of Aygestan, on March 3, 1865, the son of a farmer. His love for painting was born during his studies in the local elementary school and then in the Central College of Van (1881-1886).

He graduated with honors and, afterwards, he taught drawing, aesthetics, and geography in the schools of Van from 1886-1889. Meanwhile, he became a member of the first Armenian political party, the Armenagan Organization, formed in Van. In 1890 he was arrested on charges of political activities against Sultan Abdul Hamid II, but was freed six months later for lack of evidence. In 1891 he was arrested again and sentenced to death, but two years later he was able to escape prison and go first to Persia and then to Tiflis. After doing menial jobs, in 1895 he went to St. Petersburg to follow studies at an art society school with a scholarship granted by Catholicos Mgrdich I (Khrimian Hayrig).

His studies were interrupted in 1897, when the Russian police arrested him in Reval (now Tallinn, the capital of Estonia) upon a request of the Ottoman government. He was transferred to half a dozen prisons until he was secretly exiled to Persia in 1898. He managed to escape again to Batum, in Georgia, and leave for Paris. In Paris he entered the famous Julian Academy, from which he graduated in 1904.

Upon his return to Eastern Armenia, Terlemezian, who had already participated in collective exhibitions in Paris, created various paintings inspired by his visits to Etchmiadzin, Sanahin, and other places. He settled in Tiflis, where he taught at the Nersessian and Hovnanian schools, and participated actively in cultural life from 1905-1908.

He traveled to Egypt and Algeria in 1908, and then resided in Paris for the next two years, where he continued painting. In 1910 he settled in Constantinople, where he would live until the beginning of World War I. Here he befriended some of the most prominent intellectuals of the period, and shared his residence with Gomidas Vartabed. In 1913 he gave his first individual exhibition in Constantinople and won the golden medal at the international exhibition of Munich. Returning to Van, he was one of the leaders of the resistance of April-May 1915 against the attack of Turkish regular troops. After the retreat of the Russian troops, he went to Etchmiadzin with the Armenian refugees and then to Tiflis. In 1916-1917 he became one of the founding members and organizers of the Society of Armenian Artists in Tiflis and its branch in Rostov-on-the-Don.

Terlemezian went abroad in 1920. He lived for a few years in Constantinople, Italy, and France, and in 1923 he settled in the United States, where he lived and presented individual exhibition in New York, Fresno, San Francisco, and Los Angeles during the next five years. He also participated in the Biennial of Venice (1924).

In 1928 he was invited by the government of Soviet Armenia to return. He would live in Yerevan until his death. He gave individual exhibitions in Yerevan and Tiflis. In 1930 he was given the title of Emeritus Artist of Soviet Armenia and became a member of the Society of Painters of the Soviet Union in 1932.

Panos Terlemezian passed away on April 30, 1941. The art school established in Yerevan in 1921 was posthumously named after him.



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(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])


Death of Panos Terlemezian
(April 30, 1941)

Many Armenian intellectuals were also involved in the movement of national liberation at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Painter Panos Terlemezian was one of them.

Self portrait by Panos TerlemezianHe was born in Aygestan, the Armenian suburb of the city of Van, on March 3, 1865. His father was a farmer. After studying at the elementary school, he attended the Van Central College (1881-1886), which he graduated with honors. He became a teacher, while at the same time he joined the first Armenian political party, the Armenagan Organization, founded in 1885.

His political activities attracted the attention of the Turkish government, which tried him in absentia. In 1893 he escaped to Persia and later to Tiflis, in the Russian Empire. After working for a while there, he 1895 he moved to St. Petersburg, where he entered the school of the Art Society. The Turkish government had him imprisoned in 1897 and sent to prison in Tiflis and then in Yerevan, from where he was exiled to Persia. In 1898 he clandestinely traveled to Paris and entered the Académie Julian in 1899. He graduated in 1904, when he won the first prize for his works in the academy’s exhibition. His work “ThKomitas Vardapet by Panos Terlemeziane Entrance of the Monastery of Sanahin” (1904) won the gold medal of an all-European exhibition in Munich (Germany).

After living and creating in Armenia between 1905 and 1908, he returned to Paris for the next two years. In 1910 he moved to Constantinople, where he lived and exhibited until 1913, when he returned to Van. He was one of the seven members of the military authority that led the successful self-defense of Van in April-May 1915 and allowed some 200,000 Armenians of the town and the environment to save their lives. After the evacuation of the town and the emigration of the population towards the Caucasus, he settled in Tiflis, where he participated in the organization of the Union of Armenian Artists.

After the end of the war, Terlemezian lived again on the move. He was in Constantinople, Italy and France between 1919 and 1922, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, where he lived for the next five years, always painting and giving exhibitions. Finally, in 1928 he settled in Soviet Armenia, where he continued producing landscapes, a genre where he excelled, and portraits of celebrated Armenians. He received the title of People’s Artist in 1935. He passed away on April 30, 1941. The Art School (now Art College) of Yerevan bears his name.


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