Arsen Chabanian

Arsen Chabanian

(1864 – 1949)

Arsen Shabanyan is one of the prominent figures within the world of Armenian and European marine painting. He was born in the village of Sunints, in Karin Province, Western Armenia.

He received his primary education in Karin and later studied at Murad Rafayelyan College. Finishing his education in 1883 he returned to his native country. In 1890 he left for Theodosia, met the marine artist Hovhannes (Ivan) Aivazovsky and left for Paris on the advice of the latter. He attended Julian Academy and studied under G. Moro, J. P. Lorenz. and B. Constantine. 

Shabanyan used various painting techniques, mainly oil painting and pastel. His works consisted mainly of seascapes, flower paintings and sometimes still lifes (inanimate nature). From time to time he would make color engravings with surplus paints and other materials.

His mastery most brilliantly manifested in his seascapes and especially in moonlit sea scenes. This light-drawing feature came from a correct understanding of impressionistic technique that Shabanyan had mastered and skillfully implemented.

Arsen Shabanyan's works were first exhibited in Paris in 1894.

Shabanyan's seascapes are characterized by poetry and reasonableness. Shabanyan was one of the founders of the Marine Artists’ and Color Engraving Artists’ Company in France and a member of the “Ani” Company of Armenian Artists.


  • 1926, French Legion of Honour 

In Armenia Shabanyan’s Works are displayed at The National Gallery, the Museum of the Ejmiatsin Patriarchate Residence, in private collections, as well as at the Boyajyan Center for the Arts.

Soir doré près Sanary | Յուղաներկ, կտավ | oil on canvas | 60×45 cm
Յուղաներկ, կտավ | oil on canvas | 71.5×48.5 cm
Յուղաներկ, կտավ | oil on canvas | 46×55 cm

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