Wartan Mahokian (1869 Trabzon – 1937 Nice)
Material: Oil on canvas
Dimension: 57,5 x 93,7 cm
About the Artist:
Wartan Mahokian was an Armenian painter who lived in the Ottoman Empire and France and is known for his marine paintings. After completing his studies at the Berlin Academy of Arts, he traveled and exhibited his art paintings in France, Germany, Egypt and elsewhere. So his art is displayed in various museums throughout the world.
Wartan Mahokian was born in Trabzon in the Ottoman Empire on 31 May 1869 to Armenian parents. His father, Aristakes Mahokian, was a merchant who demanded that his two daughters and four sons be educated. In 1875, Mahokian began his early education at a local Armenian school where he took an interest in drawing. He later attended the prestigious Sanasarian College in Erzurum and returned to Trabzon after five years of study. During his time spent at Sanasarian, Mahokian learned to paint. He also learned to play the violin and studied music theory. But Mahokian‘s uncle persuaded him to pursue a career in art.
Traveling Destinations & Exhibtions
In 1891, Mahokian began studies at the Berlin Academy of Arts where he was trained under the directorship of Eugen Bracht and Hans Gude. Mahokian graduated from the academy in 1894 and traveled to the Crimea, where he painted various scenes of the sea. The Artist Mahokian returned to his native Trabzon in 1895 and witnessed the Hamidian massacres. There he escaped first to Batum and then to Europe where he began exhibiting his art. One of his first exhibitions was in Berlin in 1900. In 1904 Mahokian was accepted into the Berlin Artists’ Association. Also he traveled to Egypt where he exhibited over 150 pieces of his artwork in Alexandria and Cairo. After a brief stop in Denmark, Mahokian went to Italy, settled in Capri and continued painting there. Mahokian returned to Germany in 1907 and participated in various exhibitions Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Munich.
Legion of Honor Award
Wartan Mahokian returned to the Ottoman Empire in 1908 and settled in his hometown of Trabzon. Mahokian continued to paint there, but with the start of World War I and the Armenian Genocide, Mahokian moved to Nice, France in 1914, where he remained the rest of his life. After he received French citizenship in 1927, two years later after being awarded for the Legion of Honor. He participated in the Paris Salon in 1921, 1922, and 1927. In 1931 he held a personal exhibition at the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice which included 65 of his works. Wartan Mahokian also exhibited his works in Monte Carlo in 1932. As a componist he composed a symphony entitled “The Sobbing of Armenia” in memory for those who died during the Armenian Genocide in 1915. It was first performed at Monte Carlo in 1918 and then played throughout Europe.
Works in Museums
After a long illness, Mahokian died on 10 February 1937 in Nice, France at the age of 67. Many works of Wartan Mahokian are in important Museums, like the National Museum of Armenia.