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Миниатюры армянских рукописей

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The rise of Lazarus

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

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The crucifixion

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

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The resurrection

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

This composition is based on the space-and-time canon accepted in Medieval art and expresses scenes logically following each other, within one miniature. The development of the action takes place from the bottom upwards. In the lower part of the composition, Christ is shown in the grave wrapped in shrouds; above him are the sleeping soldier-guards. In the upper part of the miniature, the next scene presented at the same grave (in which only the shrouds of Christ can be seen) are the holy women who have come lo anoint the body of the dead and the angels telling them what had happened.

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The harrowing of hell

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

The Harrowing of Hell.

This scene expresses the concept of the sins of mankind being redeemed by Christ. According to Christian doctrine, Christ, by sacrificing himself, bestows mankind with immortality by opening the doors of Paradise before him. In the miniature Christ is presented standing on the ruins of Hell Satan is at his feet, chained by the will of God. In this same scene, Adam and Eve, the kings Solomon and David, and John the Baptist may lie seen, striving towards Christ and pleading for salvation. The miniature is unfinished. Christ's face was drawn in later.

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The Descent of the Holy Ghost.

The source of this scene is based on "The Acts of the Apostles" (11:1 - 3). There were numerous iconographic versions of this scene but there are few versions with the church in the center of the composition. It is widely known that the foundation of the Christian Church followed the descent of the Holy Ghost. Probably the painter refers to this fact. It is not unusual for Christian art that any event be presented simultaneously with further actions. In this connection, it is interesting to mention an original miniature from the X century (in the Egbert manuscript, X cent.) in which the action subsequent to the descent of the Holy Ghost is presented; when the apostles collected donations for the building of the church.

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he Dormition of the Virgin.

Christian canonical literature tells very little about the Virgin and that little ends with the ascension of Christ. Nothing is said about the later years of her life; this gap is filled by apocryphal literature, which gives information on her childhood and the last years of her life. That was also the basis for different iconographic versions of the Dormition of the Virgin. Movses Khorenatsi's History (V cent.) has preserved one version of the Dormition. It is interesting for its characteristic features and for it being the only apocryphal source whose author is known.

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Deesis

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

Deesis.

The miniature is unfinished. The face of Christ was drawn in later.

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The revelation of John

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

The Revelation of St. John.

The miniature presents an episode from the Revelation of St. John. Christ, with a sickle in his hand, and John are standing face to face. Between them there is a group of stars, symbolizing churches (the stars being crowned with crosses). The Revelation of St. John says that Christ appeared either with a sickle in his hand or a sword in his mouth, and in, another case, a bunch of stars or even a seal in his hand, etc. From all these succeeding actions, the painter has chosen only two: a revelation with a sickle and one with a bunch of stars. To avoid repetition, he presents Christ only once; however, in the miniature, he gives place to an essential detail connected with the following revelation, stars symbolizing churches. In this way, the painter expresses actions succeeding each other.

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miniature50.jpgSt. Serge

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

PSt. Serge.

Was the most beloved among Armenian national saints? His name may often be found in folk songs. The saint is often presented sitting on a white horse, accompanied by his son Martiros.

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St. Mercury

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

St. Mercury.

The stable iconographic feature of the presentation of the saint is the use of black for his horse, thus alluding to the fact that the miracle was performed after his death.

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St. Theodore

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

St. Theodore.

Is presented at the moment of the miracle. He is saving a woman shown in the right of the miniature, from a dragon.

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St. George

Artist - Anonymous Painter of Syuniq

Gospel, XIV - XV centures.

St. George.

This iconographic type of slaying a dragon with a spear may be seen in the illustration by Toros Taronatsi (Gospel, 1323, Matenadaran, cod. 6289).

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