Palm Sunday

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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 Palm Sunday


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The triumphal entry of our Lord into Jerusalem, by Hagop Markare, Haghbat Gospel, 1211, Horomos monastery, ms6288 Matenadaran collection

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The entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, by Toros Roslin, 1262, W.539 Walters collection

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The triumphal entry of our Lord into Jerusalem, by Toros Roslin, Malatia Gospels, 1268, Hromkla monastery, ms10675 Matenadaran collection

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The Palm Sunday, Lectionary of Hetum II, Cilicia, 1286, ms979 Matenadaran collection

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The Palm Sunday, by Hovhannes monk, 1287, Akner monastery, ms197 Matenadaran collection

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The triumphal entry of our Lord into Jerusalem, Jesus washes the feet of His Disciples, by Sargis Pidzak, 1336, Sis, Cilicia, ms5786 Matenadaran collection

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The Palm Sunday, by monk Avag, 1337, Agarak monastery, ms212 Matenadaran collection

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The entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, by Zachariah Aghtamartsi, 1357, Aghtamar, lake Van, ms5532 Matenadaran collection

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The entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, by Petros and Hovaness Khizanetsi, 1392, Khizan, Vaspurakan, ms3717 Matenadaran collection

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The entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, 14th century, Matenadaran collection

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The Palm Sunday,  by Hovhannes Vardapet, 1455, Hizan monastery, W.543 Walters collection

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The Palm Sunday, 1609, The Bodleian Library

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