DescriptionGRIEG HOVSEP CHAPIAN (American, 1913-1995)
The Old Teacher, 1932
Oil on masonite
28 x 22 inches (71.1 x 55.9 cm)
Signed in full and dated upper right: Grieg Hovsep Chapian
Titled, signed, and dated by the artist verso: "The Old Teacher / By / Grieg Hovep Chapian / 1932"
FROM A PRIVATE TEXAS COLLECTION
Acquired directly from the artist by the current owner.
The colorful portraitist Grieg Hovsep Chapian was born in Varna, Bulgaria to Armenian parents who were naturalized American citizens. His parents had left Providence, Rhode Island on a business trip to Europe when the Balkan Wars broke out, stranding them there. Shortly after Grieg was born, World War I had broken out thwarting their efforts to return home. Following the war they returned to America via Turkey, in 1923. Grieg showed an early aptitude for art and in 1930 began his formal education at the Cooper Union where he took courses in commercial art, which enabled him to find work as an illustrator. In 1931, he was awarded a five-year scholarship to the National Academy of Design where he studied under many distinguished American painters including Leon Kroll, Charles S. Chapman, Charles C. Curran, Arthur S. Covey and Ivan Olinsky. He also studied portrait painting privately under George Laurence Nelson.
The present work with its strong 30s Regionalist flair depicts, according to Chapian's own title, an old painting teacher. The sitter has yet to be identified although circumstantially the model would almost certainly have been based in the New York area.
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