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Naghash Hovnatan

Naghash Hovnatan
Նաղաշ Հովնաթան
18th century drawing of Naghash Hovnatan
18th century drawing of Naghash Hovnatan
Shorot, Nakhijevan, Safavid Iran (modern-day Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Republic of Azerbaijan)
Shorot, Nakhijevan
Occupationpoet, ashugh, painter

Naghash Hovnatan (Armenian: Նաղաշ Հովնաթան; 1661, Shorot, Nakhijevan, Safavid Iran – 1722, Shorot) was an Armenian poet, ashugh, painter, and founder of the Hovnatanian artistic family. He is considered the founder of the new Armenian minstrel school, following medieval Armenian lyric poetry.[1]


Naghash Hovnatan's work in the Etchmiadzin Cathedral

Hovnatan was born to a priestly family in Nakhijevan (at the time part of the Erivan Province in the Safavid Empire) in the village of Shorot. He studied at the Saint Thomas Monastery in Agulis. Hovnatan spent most of his life in Tbilisi and Yerevan and is considered one of the most prominent representatives of late medieval secular Armenian poetry, his work is closest to the work of ashughs.[1] In 1710 he moved to Tbilisi, where, in addition to being a painter, he also became a court ashugh.[2] Hovnatan authored more than a hundred satirical, romantic, drinking, and edifying or admonitory songs and odes.[1]

As a painter, Hovnatan undertook the interior decoration of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral in 1712, which was completed by 1721.[3] The nickname "naghash" means "painter" in Persian.[1]

In 1983, a collection of his poems in Armenian was published in Yerevan.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Basmajian, Gabriel; Franchuk, Edward S.; Ouzounian, Nourhan (2000). Hacikyan, Agop Jack (ed.). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Sixth to the Eighteenth Century, Volume II. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 867–872. ISBN 0814330231. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  2. ^ Steffen, James (31 October 2013). The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0299296537. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots". World Heritage Convention. UNESCO. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  4. ^ Tagher (Livre, 1983). WorldCat. OCLC 13327101. Retrieved 12 August 2020.

Media related to Nagash Hovnatan at Wikimedia Commons

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Naghash Hovnatan
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