Ara Davidi Ghazaryan’s “Temple” Dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s Memory

The subject of the artwork, the findings of his own ways in art are quite clearly expressed in the jeweler, engraver, Ara Ghazaryan’s artworks.

Ara Ghazaryan’s art is in touch with the Armenian art and art in general. This is where the vivid imagination, simplicity and immediacy of his worldview come from. When starting a new artwork, he elaborates on the sketch, finding the needed silhouette and layout, achieving a complete assimilation of form and content. Such is the “Temple” (2019), which is distinguished by its artistic features and technical qualities, the unique form of composition of which derives from its content. The artist has worked out the surfaces of different parts of this artwork with various textures and has achieved maximum expression through estimated means. It consists of 108 pieces, made of 18 and 22 karat gold and argentium silver. Armenian apricot wood has also been used. The height of the « Temple » is 108mm and the width is 45mm. Ara Ghazaryan has performed the artistic processing of the artwork by enameling (the basis of the used glaze is the glass melt at 800 °C melting point), using partitioning, relief and ornamental methods. And with gold as a base, it has given a special radiance to the glaze.

Not only his artworks revive the centuries-old classical technical skills such as casting, engraving (convex-grooved, deepened), porosity, granulating, encrusting, filigree, etc., but have also achieved a new statement.

The four sides and the top of the dome are crowned with red rubies and three rows with 18 incrustated diamonds in each row, represented in the artist’s favorite shapes, octagonal and round. The dome also has 18 windows. The design and the content here not only complement, but also continue each other. As you know, the octagon or the geometric expression of the number eight is an intermediate figure between the square (earthly existence) and the circle (heaven, eternity), bringing together the stability of the first and the completeness of the second. And the combination of an octagon or two squares is the symbol of the universe, the heaven and the earth.

The harmonious choice of colors is made with the relations of red, blue, green, and gold. He has followed the dictation to imaginatively match the color by color, the line by line and to create a beautiful rhythmic composition. With its strictly logical interconnection of design elements, Ara Ghazaryan has created ornamental motifs in harmony with the plastic integrity that combine with the accentuation of temple forms and general conceptual design.

«The Temple» created by Ara Ghazaryan reveals a distant reaction of some Eastern and European traditions. The artist’s bright imagination and knowledge in folk art transports the viewer to the rich and vibrant world of Armenian miniature painting. In this connection, we can particularly mention the illustration of Tempietto, in the Gospel of Echmiadzin (989): the pillar-lined, pavilion-covered building, one of the important features of which is the existence of eight columns, on which the whole architectural image is based (considering that the four columns are doubled in case of the circular or all-round shape of a cathedral, and this logic is often assumed by the artist).

In terms of its structural integrity and interconnection of its component parts, it seems to intertwine with the rotunda temples of Italian Renaissance architecture : a central structure, crowned with a dome, and with columns, installed along its perimeter. We can particularly mention the Temple of Bramante in Rome or Tempietto, which was perceived by contemporaries as a work of art of the new architectural school and as its perfect example. It is also reminiscent of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, the main cathedral of Florence, performed by one of the leading Renaissance architect F. Brunelleschi and which has become a symbol of the Early Renaissance.

The motifs, taken from Renaissance art, have been transformed into ornamental elements under Ara Ghazaryan’s hand. With his own creative innovations and unique style, he added a new quality of synthesis to the «Temple», thanks to which the theme of Tempietto has gained a contemporary sound and a new special meaning. Being in harmony with his time, in its adopted form Ara Ghazaryan has completed the reflection of his era, linking the ages finding in them the impassable, the essential, the content.

Ara Ghazaryan’s worldview is reflected not only in his creative expressions and means,, but also in their application and use. He has covered the temple with glass, and placed a microscope under the dome, which allows you to see the smallest chessboard in the world. His own creation, included in the Guinness Book (2017; 6.5 gram, 15.3×15.3 mm dimensions) made of 18K white and yellow gold and Brazilian cherry wood. The biggest of the chess pieces are the King and the Queen (each 4.8mm, with diamond removable crowns), and the smallest are the soldiers (2.3mm). Four more diamonds are at the base of the chess board.

When creating chess, as Ara Ghazaryan points out, he was inspired by the monument to the Armenian nods on Mount Nemrut located in the Armenian or Eastern Taurus Mountains. Specifically, by the identical groups of statues, built on both sides of the conical artificial mausoleum, on the East and on the West, depicting Aramazd, Vahagn, Mihr-Areg, King Antiochus I Yervanduni, the goddess of Commagence. The artist here has been courageous and unconstrained in the application of new forms and composition, which testifies to his delicacy and the correct choice of means of expression.

The unified artistic image of the artwork is remarkable. Ara Ghazaryan has placed the «Temple» in a hand decorated with royal blue sapphires, drawn in a unique ornament and graphically delineated with fine lines of Mount Ararat (made of argentium silver and placed on lapis lazuli stone), which has become a unique pedestal for “Temple”. All parts of the composition are closely in harmony with each other, the details are well thought out. Together, all of them create an artistic image that has an unusual solemnity.

Ara Ghazaryan has studied the worldwide experience of jewelry art in terms of aesthetic requirements of the 21st century. One of the peculiarities of the artist’s creative description is the uninterrupted search for his own artistic solutions. The author has tried to make use of all the visible and invisible possibilities of the material. Ara Ghazaryan’s artworks are astounding by their delicacy, charm, the tricks of the performance, in the unified system of which their expressiveness is revealed.

The criterion for evaluation his artwork is not the presence or absence of traditions or influences, but the result he has acquired throughout the course of his creation. The inner mystery of every detail of the form and decoration of the subject, the reflection of his own world view, all this “speaks” to the contemporary man, who feels it with a particular sharpness.

Ara Ghazaryan is a jeweler, architect, sculptor, painter and engineer at the same time. He creates his artworks through tools he has created himself that are not sold anywhere in the world. He “constructs” the jewelry item, for each one finding the most expressive structure of composition and its characteristic form.

The thematic-composition artworks are the vivid expressions of the artist’s clear thinking, style, artistic language. Each of Ara Ghazaryan’s created item becomes a handmade miracle, not just an object, but also a spirit or character that has an amazing emotional impact on the viewer.