Description Walters manuscript W.538 is a rare and fine example of a 12th-century Gospel book from Cilicia. Created for Bishop Karapet at the Poghoskan hermitage in 1193, the manuscript is notable for its vividly illuminated Eusebian letter and canon tables. Armenian canon tables draw heavily on Byzantine stylistic traditions, using columns and elaborate headpieces adorned with exotic birds, yet the artists transformed them into something distinctly Armenian. Also important to note are the multiple colophons at the end of the manuscript, detailing the threat of the Islamic forces to the Crusader states, and the Christian efforts to rebuff them.
|9/20/1987||Examination||examined for loan|
- Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1947.
- Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
- Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Manuscript Illumination. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1988.
- Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1994.
- Treasures from the Ark: 1700 Years of Armenian Christian Art. British Library, London. 2001.
- Illuminating the Word: Gospel Books in the Middle Ages. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2004.
- Armenie: La Magie d'Ecrit. Centre de la Vieille Charité, Marseille. 2007.
- Beasts on Parchment: Picturing Animals in Medieval Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010-2011.
Provenance Bishop Karapet, Poghoskan hermitage, 1193, by commission; Catholicos John VI, 1221 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Smbat (nephew of Catholicos John VI), 13th century [mode of acquisition unknown]; Khodja Hovannes, between 14th and 18th centuries [mode of acquisition unknown]; Monastery of St. Thomas, between 14th and 18th centuries [mode of acquisition unknown]; Nazlu Khatun, 1770 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Ter Hohannes, late 18th/early 19th century [mode of acquisition unknown]; New Nakhijevan, Armenia, before 1889 to after 1903; Henry Walters, Baltimore, after 1903 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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