Toros Toramanyan (18.3.1864, Shapin-Garahisar (Şebinkarahisar)-1.3.1934, Yerevan) Armenian architect, the founder of the academic study of Armenian architecture. Honored worker of Armenian SSR (1933). From 1888-93 he studied at the department of Architecture of the Gymnasium of Fine Arts in Constantinople.  He worked as a project architect. In 1895 he moved to Bulgaria, then in 1900 he moved to Romania. He was in Persia, Syria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Paris (1902), and then in 1903 he visited Ani with K. Basmajian in order to make album of architectural monuments. From the spring of 1904 Toramanyan began the investigation of Zvartnots temple; he headed the excavations of Khachik vardapet, and then in 1905 he finished the reconstruction project of Zvartnost temple publishing the book “Zvartnost Temple” (1905), thus he founded the academic literature of the Armenian architecture. In 1904-12  Toramanyan took part in the excavation of N. Mar, he studied and measured the monuments, worked on new projects of reconstructions. 

According to the Imperial Archaeological Commission the works by Toros Toramanyan (“Echmiazdin Cathedral”, 1909, “Tekor Basilica”, 1911) made a revolution in the history of world architecture. The European science, which did not accept the independent existence of Armenian architecture. Due to Toramanyan’s works the European science recognized the existence of the Armenian old architecture. In 1913 Toramanyan participated in the academic session of Vienna University and got grand prix for the best art work.

In 1918 Josef Strzygowski published “The Architecture of the Armenians andMartiros Saryan - Portrait of Toros Toramanyan Europe” which was based on more than 1000 drawings of Toramanyan’s investigations and other materials. Josef Strzygowski mentioned in the introduction of the book the participation of Toramanyan in the creation of the book. More than 10 works and a number of materials by Toramanyan were collected and published in “The Materials on the History of the Armenian Architecture” (collected by K. Ghafadaryan). 

Toramanyan discovered the origin of Armenian architecture, its interrelation and the peculiarities of the phases of its development, as well as stylistic integrity which brought the Armenian architecture international fame. His works are essential for those who study Armenian architecture. In 1969 a prize was named after Toros Toramanyan, the authors  who wrote the best books on Armenian architecture are awarded this prize.

Source - «Who is who. The Armenians» encyclopedia, volume 1, chief editor Hovh. Ayvazyan, Yerevan, 2007.


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