Charles Garabed Atamian

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Charles Garabed Atamian
Շառլ Կարապետ Ադամեան
Born (1872-09-18)18 September 1872
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 30 July 1947(1947-07-30) (aged 74)
Paris, France
Occupation Painter

Charles Garabed Atamian (September 18, 1872 - July 30, 1947) was an Ottoman-born French painter of Armenian descent.[1][2]


Garabed Atamian was the second of five children of Mıgırdiç Atamian, a goldsmith and musician, and Mary Afker. He completed his early education at the Mkhitaryan Armenian School in Pera, Istanbul. He then attended the local French school Lycée de Saint-Benoit. He continued his education at the Murad Rafaelian Armenian School in the San Lazzaro Island at Venice, Italy, where between 1887 and 1893 he took lessons from professors Antonio Ermolao Paoletti and Pietra.[1] For a time he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, but returned to Istanbul without graduating and worked at the Yildiz Porcelain Factory from 1894 to 1896. He was appointed as the factory's chief designer. A number of his porcelain plates bearing his signature "Atam" are now exhibited at the Topkapi Palace.[3] Plates which he created include portraits of Mahmud II, Selim and Abdul Mejid.[4]

He opened his first exhibition prior to the Hamidian massacres where Armenians in Istanbul were massacred en masse. As a result of the unfavorable political conditions of the period, his work failed to arouse interest and support.[1] Due to the massacres against Armenians, Atamian sought refuge in Paris in 1897.[1] In Paris he illustrated nearly 150 books, including novels by such famous writers as Anatole France, Guy de Maupassant, Henri Bordeaux, and Rene Bazin and the French translation of B. Litton's The Last Days of Pompei until World War I.[1][5]

Atamian found success creating artwork for commercial purposes including books and magazines.[6] He worked for leading French newspapers and magazines such as L'Illustration and Le Monde Illustre.[1] He also created artwork for theatrical stage productions.[6] His first oil painting was exhibited at Salon d'Automne in 1903.[6]

From 1903 and onwards, he participated in various exhibitions with overwhelming success. Of particular note are his landscapes and portraits shown at the annual exhibitions of the National Society of Artists in Paris. In 1923, he went for the summer to Saint-Gilles-sur-Vie in Vendée. He returned regularly until 1939. Much of his work were developed at this summer residence and it is his paintings of its beach that are his works that consolidated his reputation as an artist.[7] He became a permanent member of the society in 1927.[1]

One-person exhibitions of his work were held in Paris at the Allard Gallery in 1921 and in the Georges Petit Galley in 1923 and 1935, in Brussels in 1925, in Strasbourg in 1926, at the Simonson Gallery in 1928 and 1930, and at the Rosentahl Gallery in 1936.[1] His wife died in 1941. That year, feeling the first symptoms of a contracted disease, he stopped painting while continuing to exhibit. His last known work is a self-portrait dated 1941. He died in his workshop July 30, 1947. Many of his paintings exhibited in various cities of Europe, the United States, and Japan were reproduced as postcards. His granddaughter bequeathed 42 paintings of the artist to the municipality of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie in 1995.[2]


During his lifetime[edit]

Note that he exhibited regularly at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1913 to 1945 and at the Salon des Independants from 1938 to 1945.

  • 1903 Salon d'Automne (Batz paintings), the Salon d'Automne was created and organized for the first time On October 31, 1903 at the Petit Palais
  • 1918: Marseille, Mouillot Gallery (My mother)
  • 1919: The National (paintings Agay)
  • 1920: The National (Rhododendrons). There will exhibit until 1945
  • March 1921: Allard Gallery (paintings of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Villennes-sur-Seine)
  • 1923: Galerie Georges Petit
  • July 1923: Strasbourg
  • 1924: Gallery Pouillé-Lepoutre, Lyon
  • 1925: French Artists in Brussels (60 paintings)
  • 1925: Devambez Gallery, Paris
  • May 1927 and October 1927 Galerie Georges Petit
  • August 1927: Beaux-Arts de Calais
  • November 1928: Simonson Gallery, 19 rue Caumartin, Paris (paintings of Nice and Saint-Gilles)
  • 1929: Exhibition of Contemporary French Art, Tokyo, Osaka continued in 1930


  • July–August 2006: Saint-Hilaire-de-Monts, 24 works
  • December 2007 - March 2007: Cagnes-sur-Mer, The Armenian painting in the nineteenth and twentieth century works on loan from the Musée d'Orsay
  • February–June 2007: Paris, Musée National de la Marine Exhibition Aivazovsky
  • September–October 2009: Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, Marcel Baudouin room
  • June 2010:-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Sénéchal Gallery[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kurkman, Garo (2004). Armenian painters in the Ottoman empire 1600-1923. İstanbul: Matüsalem Publications. ISBN 9789759201555. 
  2. ^ a b "ATAMIAN Charles Garabed". Portail des collections des musées de France (in French). Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Tuglaci, Pars (1990). The role of the Balian family in Ottoman architecture. Yeni Çığır Bookstore. p. 656. 
  4. ^ Denis Donikian; Georges Festa (2009). Arménie : de l'abîme aux constructions d'identité: Actes du Colloque de Cerisy-La-Salle du 22 août au 29 août 2009. Harmattan. pp. 220–221. ISBN 978-2-296-09191-7. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Awetisian, Onnik (1960). Peintres et sculpteurs arméniens, du 19eme siècle à nos jours (in French). Amis de la culture arménienne. p. 226. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Ararat. Armenian General Benevolent Union of America. 1968. Retrieved 9 December 2012. Charles Atamian (1872-1947) distinguished himself as an illustrator of books and magazines. He designed scenery for the principal Parisian theaters and did commercial art as well. He sent his first oil to the Salon d'Automne in 1903 and had ... 
  7. ^ a b "Charles Atamian, peintre, illustrateur et xumaphile" (in French). Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Atamian, Maud Bianchi (2006). Charles Atamian, painter, in-depth encounter with a man and his work (in French). Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie: Printing Life. ISBN 978-2-85281-950-4. 

External links[edit]