Edman O'Aivazian ROI RSMA (1931 - 2020)


Edman's works are founded on the need to understand nature though the abstraction of form, light and colour. Distilling these essences, he applied his artistic talents to capturing the diverse scenery of rivers, landscapes, and seascapes in all their forms.

It has been said about his works: "There is something almost chemical about Edman O'Aivazian's landscapes. The green of his hills has a phosphorescent glow to it, and the sky that hangs over his mountains is lit fluorescent blue" (Razmig Bedirian, Journalist).


Edman was born in Tehran, Iran in 1931, into an Armenian family, and started painting at the age of thirteen. As a young artist he regularly participated in group exhib­itions and one-man shows, exploring and recording the vast country on canvas.

In his formative years he studied Persian art in Isfahan, a cradle of Islamic art and design. Much later he was commissioned to design a 250 metre calligraphy frieze, which was installed in Riyadh Airport in 1985. Some years later he was commissioned again to design a 50-metre mural for the King Abdul-Aziz National Museum, Riyadh.

Edman joined the Royal Institute of Oil Painters as an associate member in 2000, becoming a full member in 2006. He was elected as an associate member to the Royal Society of Marine Artists in 2001, becoming a full member two years later, in 2003.

Edman's works are exhibited at the Museum San Lazaro, Venice; the National Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, Yerevan; and the Aivazovski Museum, Theodosia. There are also murals and paintings in Armenian churches in Teheran and the National Museum, Riyadh. A number of his paintings are with private collectors around the world.

Over the years, Edman completed a number of notable commissions, including:

1977 - Commissioned to paint a portrait of the great composer, Aram Khachaturian, which now hangs in the Khachaturian Museum in Yerevan, Armenia

1985 - Commissioned to paint portraits of Saudi Kings and Princes and paintings of life in 1930s Saudi Arabia

1986 - Completed the interior design for King Fahad International Airport Mosque

2001 - Commissioned to paint the portrait of Crown Prince Abdula Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud


Edman joined the Wapping Group of Artists in 2002 and was very much at home in the company of like-minded painters, enjoying the endearing friendship of his fellow artists, who were and still are dedicated to recording the essence of the Thames and the human activity that the river supports on its banks.

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