Charles Atamian


Artist Biography:

Garabed Charles Atamian was born in the wealthy family of Mgrdich Atamian, a goldsmith and musician. He was the second of five children and completed his early education at the Mkhitaryan Armenian School in Pera, Istanbul. Garabed then attended the local French school Lycée de Saint-Benoit. He continued his education at the Murad Rafaelian Armenian College of Venice, where he studied along with Edgar Chahine. Upon returning to Istanbul Atamian opened his first exhibition, which was a big success and he was invited to work at the newly open Yildiz Porcelain Factory of the Ottoman Court (from 1894 to 1896). He was soon appointed as the factory’s chief designer. A number of Atamian’s porcelain plates bearing his signature “Atam” are now exhibited at the Topkapi Palace (the main palace of the Ottoman Empire). Plates which he created include portraits of the sultans Mahmud II, Selim and Abdul Mejid. The Hamidian massacres of Armenians made imposible Atamian’s realization as a painter in Constantinople. He sought refuge in Paris in 1897 and predominantly worked and exhibited there, in Paris his name Garabed turned into Charles. Here Atamian exhibited at La Nationale from 1913 – 1942, at the Independent Gallery from 1938 – 1945, and he was made an Associate of La Nationale in 1927. In Paris he also illustrated nearly 150 books, created artworks for theatrical stage productions and participated in various exhibitions with overwhelming success. Atamian spent many summers in Saint-Gilles-sur-Vie in Vendée and many of his famous landscapes and marine artworks were developed precisely at this summer residence.

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