Paul Guiragossian

Paul Guiragossian (1925 – November 20, 1993) was an Lebanese Armenians painter.
Born to Armenian parents, survivors of the Armenian Genocide, Paul Guiragossian experienced the consequences of exile from a very tender age. Raised in boarding schools, Paul grew up away from his mother who had to work to make sure her two sons got an education. As a child Paul remembers looking out from the window watching children flying their kites and they would always ask him to draw theirs because he did the most beautiful and colorful designs. It’s then that he realized he had a special talent and his love for art became an indispensable need. In the early 1940s Paul and his family moved to Jaffa where he attended Studio Yarkon to start improving his passion of painting. In late 1947, the family moved again and settled in Lebanon.

In the 1950s Paul started teaching art in several Armenian schools and worked as an illustrator. He later started his own business with his brother Antoine painting cinema banners, posters and drawing illustrations for books. Soon after he was discovered for his art and introduced to his contemporaries after which he began exhibiting his works in Beirut and eventually all over the world. In 1956 he won the first prize in a painting competition, which landed him a scholarship by the Italian government to study at the Academia di Belle Arti di Firenze (The Academy of Fine Arts of Florence). While in Florence, Paul had multiple exhibitions starting with a solo show in 1958 at the Galeria D’Arte Moderna “La Permanente”. In 1962, Paul was granted another scholarship, this time by the French Government, to study and paint in Paris at Les Atelier Des Maîtres De L’Ecole De Paris and by the end of that year he had a solo exhibition at the Galerie Mouffe. 

By the mid 1960s Guiragossian had grown to become one of the most celebrated artists in Lebanon and eventually of the Arab world and even though war broke out in the early 1970s, his attachment to Lebanon grew bigger and his works became more colorful with messages of hope for his people. In 1989 Paul went to Paris to exhibit his works in La Salle Des Pas Perdus in UNESCO and resided in the city with part of his family until 1991. At the end of that 1991 Guiragossian had a solo exhibition at the Institut du Monde Arabe. This exhibition was extended and marked the very first solo show at the IMA for any artist. Paul died November 20, 1993, in Beirut, after completing a magnificent oil painting which he revealed to his family to be his best work yet. The family agreed to entitle the painting "L'Adieu" and it remains unsigned in the Guiragossian Family Collection.Wikipedia

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