Lives of the Artists XV

Zarui Muradyan, younger daughter of the famed Armenian painter Sarkis Muradyan, reminisced recently about her father. One of the things she talked about was her father’s brilliant painting ‘My Daughters’. You may recall it from my post on Sarkis a few months ago.

One of the best known works of my father is “Wedding in Hrazdan”  depicting a traditional Armenian wedding with typical rustic imagery. There I figured for the first time – a baby in the arms of the mother. Then I appeared in the painting, “My daughters” in 1969. It was a portrait of my sister and me – I was ten, my sister was twelve. The idea to make such an unusual portrait for him came unexpectedly and urgently one day. My sister and I had been gifted red dresses, and my mother bought us red stockings. And when we put on the dresses and tights, my father said to her: “Come on, I’ll paint them a portrait.” He told us to find red shoes and dragged us into the studio.

15 years later, the famous German businessman and art collector Peter Ludwig, one of the richest men in Germany, whose company produced chocolate, arrived. Today we have the famous Ludwig Museum in Cologne and its branches in different cities of Germany. Those days he would come to the USSR to buy works of Soviet art, in large numbers, in fact. Suddenly he came to Armenia and bought two of my father’s works: “Antuni” and “My daughters.” Dad did not want to part with the latter. He was troubled and thought it over and over, and then said, “One doesn’t always get a chance to exhibit in the heart of Europe.”

If he liked any of his work, he always made ​​variations. He asked Ludwig to wait a half year; six months later he was ready to sell “My daughters.” During this time, he made ​​a copy for himself with a different version of the background, which for some reason became the Republic Square. This work is now our family property, and we have temporarily transferred it to the National Gallery of Armenia.

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