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Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This Armenian Gospel book was produced in 904 of the Armenian era (1455 CE) at the monastery of Gamaiel in Xizan by the scribe Yohannes Vardapet, son of Vardan and Dilsat, and was illuminated by the priest Xac`atur. The priest P`ilipos commissioned the manuscript as a memorial to himself, his parents azar and Xut`lumelik`, and other relatives listed in the colophon on fols. 300r to 301v. P`ilipos is depicted on fol. 14v alongside his brothers Yusep` and Sultansa, as they kneel before the Virgin and Child enthroned (Theotokos). The book contains twenty-six full-page polychrome miniatures, including four Evangelist portraits; ornately designed canon tables; four decorated incipit pages; numerous marginal miniatures of floral and faunal motifs; and nineteen marginal miniatures of biblical characters or allusions to biblical narratives.
Date Description Narrative
  • 4000 Years of Modern Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1953-1957.
  • Flight, Fantasy, Faith, Fact. Dayton Art Institute, Dayton. 1953-1954.
  • The History of Bookbinding 525-1950 A.D.. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1957-1958.
  • Splendor in Books. Grolier Club, New York; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1977-1978.
  • 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.
  • To Hell and Back: Medieval Images of the Afterworld. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
  • Treasures from the Ark: 1700 Years of Armenian Christian Art. British Library, London. 2001.
  • The Cross and the Crescent: Books from the Ottoman Age. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2003.
  • Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 2004.
Provenance Lord Philippos, Monastery of Gamghiel, Khizan, 1455, by commission; Aristakes, Armenia, 1617 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Karapet, Armenia, 1704 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Sahak, Armenia, 1749, by purchase; Church of Vardan, Lake Van area, until 1867 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Florence, Italy, before 1911, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1911

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1455 (Renaissance)
ink and pigments on thick paper folios with rounded outer edges bound between wooden boards lined with coarse red linen covered with thick red goatskin
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 10 13/16 × W: 7 1/16 in. (27.5 × 18 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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