Atoyan is by no means a newcomer to the Armenian art world.  The success his exhibitions had in Yogoslavia, France, and Austria did not come as a surprise to us, since those who keep up with the republic's cultural life are well aware, that Atoyan's paintings have invariably been the focus of attention for both the public and his fellow artists.

Two prime features distinguish Atoyan's art -- love for his native land and his immense patience.  His paintings, touching beautifully-colored landscapes and generic scenes, excite and fascinate by their profound national coloring and original skill.   The works of Atoyan, who has mastered the secrets of and the latest currents in art, lack any striving to be modern or popular.  His perception is unique in its freshness and modernity.  The artist is confident that only the natural and plain emotions and experiences of man give birth to genuine art.  Atoyan, a lavishly gifted artist, has a well of inspiration of his own:  that is his native Leninakan, the life of an ordinary worker, his father's house, as well as everything that surrounds him -- animals, trees, and stones.  In Atoyan's world of magic colors all this is personified and given warmth by cheerful and poetic emotions and heartfelt love.

    Atoyan is an incomparable singer of his "small motherland" and his ancient city, which have found an original reflection in his art.   So, if within the next few years, a Leninakan school of art is to be established (for today its precursors are already tangible), Atoyan's role in it will be immense.

Taken from Hakop Hakopian's introduction, "Rafayel Atoyan:  The Well of Inspiration"

1931  Born in Leninakan, Armenia.
1948  Graduate, P. Terlemezian College of Fine Arts.
1953  Graduate, Yerevan Institute of Theater and Fine Arts.
1960  Member, Union of Artists of Armenia.
1982  "Meritorious Artist of Armenia" Award.
1960 - 96  Participated in numerous group exhibitions in Armenia, the Soviet Union, and Europe.
1982, 1983  First Prize winner in State Exhibition.
1987 - 89  "Sarian and His Contemporaries" Exhibition Tour of the Soviet Union by foremost Armenian artists, Martiros Sarian, Carzou, Hagop Hagopian, Minas Avetissian and Raphael Atoyan.