Nativity

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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 Nativity of our Lord


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1232-ms2743-nativity

The Nativity of oir Lord, by Tiranu Grigor, 1232, Targmanchats Gospels, ms2743 Matenadaran collection

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toros roslin_adoration magi

Adoration of the Magi, by Toros Roslin, Gospel of Hromkla, 1260, Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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The Nativity and the adoration of the shepherds, by Toros Roslin, 1262, W.539 Walters collection

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1268-ms10675-nativity.jpg

The Nativity, by Toros Roslin, Malatia Gospels, 1268, Hromkla monastery, ms10675 Matenadaran collection

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armenian_visit_magi.jpg

The visit of the Magi, by Toros Roslin, Malatia Gospels, 1268, Hromkla monastery, ms10675 Matenadaran collection

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1302-6792-nativity-st-joseph.jpg

The Nativity and St Joseph, by Momik, 1302, Noravank, ms6792 Matenadaran collection

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1318-ms206-nativity

The Nativity, by Toros Taronatsi, Gladzor monastery, 1318, ms206 Matenadaran collection

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1319-ms7456-nativity

The Nativity, by Vardan monk, 1319, Artske, Vaspurakan, ms7456 Matenadaran collection

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christmas_armenian_icon

The Nativity of our Lord, by Sargis Pidzak, 1336, Sis, Cilicia, ms5786 Matenadaran collection

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1-avak-gladzor-nativity

The Nativity of our Lord and the Adoration of the Magi, by Avag, 1358, Gladzor Monastery, Matenadaran collection

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1368-ms6230-nativity

The Nativity, by Martiros and Avag, Gladzor monastery, 1368, ms6230 Matenadaran collection

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1-aghtamar-nativity.jpg

Adoration of the Magi, the Nativity of our Lord, by Aristakes Tzeruni, Aghtamar Gospels, 1391, Aghtamar, lake Van, ms8772 Matenadaran collection

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1-M2000-Nativity

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

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Nativity Theophany 1

The Nativity of our Lord, Syunik Gospel, 14th century, Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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The Nativity of our Lord, Karabakh Gospels, 14th century, ms316 Matenadaran collection

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1-Margar_1435-Nativity

The Nativity of our Lord, by Margar for the Monastery of St. George at Mokk’ at the order of Bishop Sion, 1434, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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1-walters-nativity

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

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1-walters543-nativity

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

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1610-msarm13-magi.jpg

The Nativity, 1609, The Bodleian Library

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1-walters547-nativity

The Nativity, 1678, Constantinople, by priest Yakob Pēligratci, commissioned by Clav, son of Nawasard, as dedication to his sons, Astuacatur and Sahak, W.547 Walters collection

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»   The flight into Egypt


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1-30-taronatsi-egypt.jpg

The flight into Egypt, by Toros Taronatsi, by Toros Taronatsi, 1323, Gladzor monastery, ms6289 Matenadaran collection

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The return of the Magi, by Toros Roslin, 1262, W.539 Walters collection

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1-11-eights-innocents

The massacre of the innocents by King Herod, Sargis Pidzak, Gospel of Eight Painters, 1320, ms7651 Matenadaran collection

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