Today is Armenian writer and painter Naghash Hovnatan's birthday

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Aysor hay mijnadaryan tsaghkogh  Naghash Hovnat`ani tsnndyan orn e_63032

Naghash Hovnatan was an Armenian writer, artist, poet, ashugh, born in 1661 in the village of Shorot (currently located in Nakhijevan region). He was the representative of the Hovnatanyan family. He received his primary education from his father, priest Hovhannes, then studied at the school of the monastery of St. Tovma Agulis, where he copied and decorated manuscripts. It is possible that he created frescoes in churches in Agulis, Ernjak, Shorot.

Later, he worked in the field of easel and monumental painting, and was recognized as an experienced artist, earning the honorary title "Naghash" (“ornamentalist” in Arabic). The only written source about Naghash Hovnatane is "Mourn on the death of the master Naghash" by Naghash Hakob.

After the earthquake of 1679 in Yerevan, Naghash Hovnatan was invited to Yerevan to decorate the churches of St. Poghos-Petros (preserved fragments are in the State Historical Museum of Armenia), Zoravor and Katoghike.

At the end of the 17th century and at the beginning of the 18th century, in Tiflis he created portraits, icons, was a singer and artist at the court of Georgian King Vakhtang VI, decorated his new palace. The painting of the interior of the Echmiadzin Cathedral, created in the 1710s, also belongs to Naghash Hovnatan (the painting was completed in 1720), a fragment from the fresco "Gregory the Illuminator baptizes Trdat" is preserved at the National Gallery of Armenia.  

Naghash Hovnatan introduced secular perception of phenomena into Armenian pictorial painting, applied the principles of easel painting. Naghash Hovnatan left a rich literary heritage. The richest and integral manuscripts of his poems are kept in the book depositories of Yerevan and Vienna. Naghash Hovnatan’s poems are devoted to the themes of love, joy and feasts, as well as satirical and edifying motives. In his songs of nature and love, human feelings and moods are reproduced not from a religious point of view.

The philosophical starting point of the songs of joy by Naghash Hovnatan is radically different from the medieval literary worldview. At the same time, he propagated creative activity, friendliness, honesty and pure human relations. The medieval artist also authored satirical songs, songs of a religious and ceremonial nature. In his songs, as well as satirical poems, he spoke out against evil and injustice, condemned the evil sides of reality, praised science and art. Naghash Hovnatan used folk art and composed in the spoken language of that time.

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