Ruben Atoyan
About author

Two hands behinde

Ruben Atayan was born in Kirovakan, Armenia in 1954.

Passion for history and geography brought him to Moscow to start the scientific career. At the age of 17 curious painter dived into the world of cartographic engineering to enrich it with his artistic view.

Ruben was moving between countries, studying cartography and making art. He walked thousands of kilometres around European capitals and Caucasus mountains making sketches and outline maps. A wanderlust determined his path — in 1987 Ruben painted the first panoramic map of a tourist trail in a formed style. Till today the master already draw more that 100 precise artworks in this genre.

At the same time Atoyan Ruben continues his scientific career, working on the articles and books on the subjects of cartography, geography and culture.

Technique & style

Manual technique

The artist works manually in the original engineering technic from XVII century without use of means of automation, but on an exact mathematical basis in perspective projections.

Depending on relief character and final view the author choose the direction of projection, define a height of horizon, depth of the image, kind of a projection and construction of the image on a map-basis. Artist do sketches of buildings, monuments and elements of a landscape and then transform all initial cartographical material into the alive artwork.

Artistic style
Technique & style

Artistic style

The unique artist's perception of the world is reflected in his works, full of colours and life.

One of the main expressive means Atayan Ruben uses is line. Thin and sharp they form the silhouette of the district from the bird's eye view.

Watercolour makes it volume and full of life. With the game of light and shade Ruben Atayan highlights the main points of interest. The selected shades and colors take us beyond the flat image, conveying a direct experience of the atmosphere of the place.

Ruben Atayan’s maps usually include picturesque natural background: mountains, see or forest and a decoration in a style of antique maps of XVI-XVII centuries.

Map updates
Technique & style

Map updates

The hand-made map is a symbol of a time. The city, island, or monument will change, but the memory of the special moment of its existence is forever kept by the map.

Of course for practical purposes sometimes it is necessary to update the map. The artist draws new buildings/districts and then these elements are added on the computer to the scanned original map.

Awards & Exhibitions


  • Main award at the 20th International cartographic conference

    Beijing, China 2001

    Venice map

  • Main award at International Travel Conference of the ICA

    St.Petersburg, Russia

    Map of Belarus

  • Main award (urban map nomination) at the 21th International cartographic conference

    Durban, South Africa, 2003

    Berlin map


  • International Book Fair, 2000Frankfurt am Main
  • Personal art cartographic exhibitionYerevan, Armenia, 2001
  • Personal art cartographic exhibitionMinsk, Belarus, 2010
  • International tourism conferenceKazakhstan, Astana, 2006
  • «Modern armenian artists» exhibitionGomel & Svetlogorsk, Belarus, 2006
  • International cartographic conferenceMoscow 2007
  • International Conference of the Travel AssociationSt. Petersburg, 2008