Baptism

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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 Baptism of Jesus Christ


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The Baptism of our Lord, 10th century, Echmiadzin Gospels, ms2374 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord, Gospel of Taron, 1038, ms6201 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord, Mugni Gospels, 1060, ms7736 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord, by Constantine, 1193, Skevra, Cilicia, ms1635 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord, by Tiranu Grigor, 1232, Targmanchats Gospels, ms2743 Matenadaran collection

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

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The Baptism of our Lord, by Toros Roslin, Malatia Gospels, 1268, Hromkla monastery, ms10675 Matenadaran collection

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

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The Baptism of our Lord,  by Simeon Ardjishetsi, 1305, Ardjesh, Vaspurakan, ms2744 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord, by Toros Taronatsi, 1323, Gladzor monastery, ms6289 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism & the raising of Lazarus, by Sargis Pidzak, 1336, Sis, Cilicia, ms5786 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord, by Aristakes Tzeruni, Aghtamar Gospels, 1391, Aghtamar, lake Van, ms8772 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord, 14th century, Crimea, ms7699 Matenadaran collection

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The Baptism of our Lord,  by Hovhannes Vardapet, 1455, Hizan monastery, W.543 Walters collection

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The Baptism of our Lord,  by Aristakes, 1475, Lake Van, W.540 Walters collection 

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The Baptism of our Lord , by Mesrop of Khizan 1605-1651, Paul Getty museum

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The Baptism of our Lord, 1609, The Bodleian Library

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»   St. John the Baptist


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Zechariah the father of St. John the Baptist and the Angel, 10th century, Echmiadzin Gospels, ms2374 Matenadaran collection

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King Herod’s banquet and the burial of St. John the Baptist , Toros Roslin, 1262, W.539 Walters collection

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