Ascension

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Armenian illuminated manuscripts

A collection of the best known and most characteristic illuminated manuscripts of the Armenian Church

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Armenian illuminated manuscripts form one of the most beautiful traditions of the Medieval Armenian art. The earliest surviving examples date from the 5th century, following the invention of the Armenian alphabet by Masrop Mashtots Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց (362-440). Very few fragments dated from the 5th-7th centuries have been survived. The oldest preserved in its entirety dates from the 9th century. 13th-14th centuries form the golden age of the Armenian calligraphy. Among the greatest Armenian miniaturists is Toros Roslin Թորոս Ռոսլին (1210-1270), who lived and worked in the Armenian kingdom of CIlicia.
Armenian Illuminated manuscripts are remarkable for their festive designs based on the Armenian  religious life and culture. lluminated manuscripts mostly recount the Holy Bible, in particular the Holy Gospels, as well as many aspects of the religious life and teachings of the Armenian Church. Most of the manuscripts were written and illustrated by monks. Armenian monasteries have been for centuries the centres of religious art and literature. Most of those manuscripts are exquisitely elaborated, covered in gilt and brilliant colors. It was a common belief that the beauty of the illustration could refresh the human mind and spirit.
Of the 31,000 Armenian manuscripts currently listed around the world, about 10,000 of them are ornamented, with 5,000 – 7,000 of them containing miniatures. Most of these manuscripts are preserved in the Matenadaran Institute of Yerevan (more than ten thousand manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts).

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»   The Ascension of our Lord to Heaven


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The Ascension of our Lord into Heaven, Queen Mlk’é Gospels, 851-862, Mekhitarists’ Library, San Lazaro, Venice

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Jesus triumphant on His throne, 10th century, by Hovaness, Noravank, Matenadaran collection

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The Ascension of our Lord, by Hovhannes Sandghkavanetsi, 1060, Mugni Gospels, ms7736 Matenadaran collection

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The Ascension of our Lord, by Samuel the priest, Melitine Gospel, 1041, Melitine, Sebastia, ms3624 Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate

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The Ascension of our Lord, Karabakh Gospels, 1261, ms378 Matenadaran collection

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The Ascension of our Lord, by Toros Roslin, 1262, W.539 Walters collection

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The Ascension of our Lord, by Hovhannes monk, 1287, Akner monastery, ms197 Matenadaran collection

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Pentecost glory

The Ascension of our Lord,  by Vardan monk, Artske, Vaspurakan, 1319, ms7456 Matenadaran collection

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Jesus Christ our Lord, by Sargis Pidzak, 1336, Sis, Cilicia, ms5786 Matenadaran collection

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The Ascension of our Lord, by Melchizedek, 1338, Vaspurakan, ms4813 Matenadaran collection

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The Ascension of our Lord, Lectionary by Karapet and Kirakos Arakel, 1356, Surkhat, Crimea, ms7408 Matenadaran collection

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The Ascension of our Lord,  14th century, Matenadaran collection

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The Ascencion of our Lord, Gospel from Crimea, 14th century, ms318 Matenadaran collection

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Jesus Christ our Lord, by Mesrop Khzanetsi, 1609, The Bodleian Library

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