Jacques Tocatlian – The Painter

Visit the online collection of paintings by Jacques Tocatlian

My father, Jacques Tocatlian, was a man of many talents.

He was a devoted family man, who lived on three continents and always provided for his family. He was an accomplished diplomat, who carried his work with devotion, conviction, competence, and success. He was a visionary builder, who laid the foundation for the revival of The Library of Alexandria. He was a creative writer, who looked at the world with humor and tolerance.

Jacques was also a prolific painter who was not bound by any borders, defined by labels, or frightened of critics. He painted in various styles. His work was good enough to win a first prize, yet sometimes went unappreciated. It was experimental. It was mostly happy. It was sometimes unfinished. It captured moments and places he fondly remembered – or sometimes imagined – that he wanted to share with others.

When Jacques passed away on January 24, 2019, we found nearly 200 paintings that he had painted over the course of a half century. Many of these painting had been stored in the basement and seldom seen. Rediscovering his works was like Ali Baba discovering a cave full with treasures.

But unlike Ali Baba, the family decided to give away most of the paintings to friends and family.  It was our way to share his legacy and for Jacques to live on in the hearts of those who knew him. Thank you to everyone that is exhibiting his paintings in your homes and offices. We know how much it means to Jacques.

Jacques Tocatlian et la peinture!

by Germaine Tocatlian

Doué d’un coup de crayon et de beaucoup d’imagination, Jacques dessinait plus que peindre quand on s’est rencontrés. Trop occupé aux USA par son travail et sa vie familiale, il ne fut pas très productif, mais se rattrapa une fois arrivé en France, car le rythme des cinq semaines de vacances par année par rapport à une seule aux USA  y contribua fortement.

Ses missions avec l’UNESCO en Afrique lui ouvrirent des horizons nouveaux et la découverte de silhouettes typées lui fit reprendre ses pinceaux…femmes africaines sur tous les angles, villages, huttes, batik africain… tout cela devint une importante production artistique.

La découverte de la France et de ses villages fut aussi une révélation pour son imagination qu’il traduisit avec un esprit naif les couleurs de la France profonde!

Suivirent des périodes mystiques, d’autres moins positives à sa retraite et durant les longs soins de son lymphome… mais, sa participation à un concours de peintres de la région de Saint Germain en Lay lui valut un premier prix qui le stimula à positiver et produire!

De nombreux séjours à Dinan en Bretagne avec son ami de cœur lui redonnèrent des ailes. La reconnaissance d’un public touristique qui lui achetait ses tableaux qu’il vendait sans prétention, devint une provocation pour les professionnels qui sentaient leurs ventes menacées… ce furent de belles expériences et beaucoup de satisfactions.

L’air marin et la nature développèrent en lui le culte des couleurs vives et des feuillages….la cour de notre immeuble se vit dotée d’un sol parsemé de feuilles d’automne sur un fond parfois céleste ou verdoyant !

Comme tout artiste l’inspiration se tarit quand la maladie l’atteint. Il nous léga de nombreux spécimens de sa peinture qui sont le reflet de sa personnalité à multiples facettes. Ses tableaux, partagés à présent entre sa famille et ses amis marquent sa présence dans chaque foyer qui l’a aimé et admiré.

Sixteen years ago

by Nadine Haase Tocatlian

Jacques was an amazing artist amongst many other gifts. Sixteen years ago, Tonton told me he wanted to paint me something for our new home. He told me to chose carefully, as it would be with me for a lifetime.

After some time, I told him I would love a painting of simple, old, clay terra cotta pots. I knew that we had very different styles in terms of decor, but I was very excited to see his rendition of my vision… I also knew, whatever he created, I would cherish.

And so it happened and sixteen years later I haven’t moved it from it’s original spot in my living room where I can feel his presence every day.

A great artist, a great uncle, and one of the greatest men I have ever come to know.

Remembering Jacques Tocatlian


Let’s make the world a better place!

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass.

The Center for Innocent Children in Vietnam needs your help! By contributing to the Happy Planet Children fundraising campaign, you are making the statement that despite being abandoned by their families or orphaned, these children deserve a decent childhood, an education, and a chance at a better life. Your willingness to help makes all the difference.

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