Buddhist frescoes as an inspiration for the Armenian artist Sarkis Katchadourian
One of the remarkable Armenian artists of the mid-twentieth century, who was directly inspired by the Oriental cultures and Asian themes, has been Sarkis Katchadourian. From 1937-to 1941, the artist worked in India and made copies from temples’ frescos, primarily world-known Ajanta caves. The Ajanta Caves are a sequence of 29 caves dating from the 2nd century BCE to 650 CE and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The horseshoe-shaped cave was built with a hammer and chisel and is home to stunning murals, paintings, and sculptures that depict the life of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, according to the tales of Jataka.
Katchadourian was born on August 9, 1886, in Malatya in the family of Sarkis and Varduhi. He received his primary education at the Armenian Evangelical College of Malatya. 1902-1908 he studied at Sanasarian College in Karin (Erzurum). In 1908 he left for Constantinople. 1908-1911 he studied at Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma and graduated with the gold medal. He returned to Constantinople, where he taught painting at Sanasarian College in Karin. 1912-1914 he studied at the National Higher School of decorative arts in Paris and received a first-class diploma. He left for Geneva to study pedagogy and then improved it in Munich and Vienna. From 1914-to 1918, Katchadourian was in the Caucasus (Batumi, Yessentuki, Tiflis, Yerevan, Dilijan, Ijevan, Alexandrapol, Gharakilisa, and Echmiadzin).
In 1915 he left for Persia, then Armenia. In 1916 he formed “The Armenian Artist’s Association” in Tiflis. In 1920 Katchadourian married Vardanoush Sarian. in 1921, he became member-secretary in the “Armenian Artists Union” in Tiflis. In 1921 the government of the Armenian SSR assigned the artist to draw sketches for stamps printed in Constantinople at Yesayan’s publishing house. In 1941 Katchadourian settled in New York City.