Armenian Gospel Iconography
The Tradition of the Glajor Gospel

(ISBN: 0-88402-183-1)

Regular Price: $45.00

Special Price: $38.00

1991 Washington, D.C.
450 pages
Size: 9 1/4" x 12 1/4"
Language(s): English

The Glajor Gospel, an illustrated Armenian gospel book of the fourteenth century, is one of the prized possessions of the University Research Library at the University of California, Los Angeles. Commissioned by the scholar/abbot Esayi Nc'eci of the monastery of Glajor in Greater Armenia, the manuscript was produced there in 1300-1307. Some seventy years later it came into the possession of the Orbelian family who, after its capture and redemption from the Mongols, deposited it in the monastery of Gefard sometime during the years 1393-1404. It remained there until the early seventeenth century when it was taken to New Julfa, near Isfahan, in the forcible exodus of Armenians to Iran. In 1967 the gospel book was donated to the UCLA Library by its last private owner, the late Dr. Caro Minasian of Isfahan. The Glajor Gospel was lavishly illustrated by five different artists, who embellished it with four evangelist portraits, ten canon tables, and fifty-five narrative paintings as well as numerous marginal ornaments and decorative initials. This volume presents all the full-page illuminations from the gospel book at their original size and includes twenty-four color illustrations of full-page paintings and details. In addition, over two hundred comparative illustrations are used to examine the Armenian tradition of gospel iconography. This collaborative study—the first monographic study of a single Armenian manuscript—provides an introduction to Armenian cultural and artistic history; the history of the Glajor Gospel and the political and cultural setting in which it was produced, including the role of princely patrons; and the history of the monastery and school of Glajor. The major part of the book discusses the characteristics of the Glajor Gospel, the development of Armenian painting, and the analysis of the miniatures depicting the life of Christ. It concludes with a discussion of the iconography of the canon tables and evangelist portraits. This work highlights the existence of a distinctively Armenian way of illuminating the Gospels and relates this tradition to distinct patterns of thought and behavior in Armenian culture.

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