The people's Artist Hakop Kojoyan (1883-1959) was one of the founders of Armenian drawing who also worked in the genres of painting and applied art. Born to an Armenian jeweler in Akhaltsikhe, Kojoyan was trained in the art of engraving, goldsmithing and silversmithing before he left home. From 1903-1905 he studied at the school of Anton Azbe in Munich. For two years he also studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. In subsequent years he visited Paris, lived in Moscow, and from 1918 in Armenia. The content of the artist's works is closely connected with his native Armenia. The inexhaustible source of his inspiration was Armenian epics, folk tales and legends. His favorite hero is the legendary warrior and defender of the people, David of Sasun, whom he portrayed in watercolors, paintings, and drawings for the two-volume book The Madmen of Sasun (1935).
He was a diverse artist. His illustrations for Zaryan's fairy tale Azaran Blbul (The Nightingale of a Thousand Voices, 1925) are notable for their imagination and charming naivete, while those he did for a collection of Armenian folk tales are full of impish humor. The artist's ornamental compositions for book covers, title pages, flyleaves, head and tailpieces witness to his profound acquaintance with medieval Armenian manuscripts (The Poems of A. Vshtuni, 1934; The Songs of Sayat-Nova, 1945; Selected Works by A. Isahakian, 1947). Kojoyan's easel drawings are characterized by infinitely delicate and elegantly drawn lacework patterns, often introduced to surround the subject compositions (The Armenian Herald, 1921; The Women of Akhaltsikhe, 1922; The Phoenix, 1958). Outstanding among the artist's paintings is The Execution of Communists in Tatev (1930), the first picture in Armenian art on a historical-revolutionary theme. Many of his canvases portray scenes from the everyday life of Armenian villages (The Village of Aparan, 1923; A Mountain Stream, 1946) and many are landscape views of the Ararat valley and other parts of Armenia.