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Title Page of the Gospel of John

Illuminator:
Sargis (active early 14th century)
Object Name:
Illustrated manuscript
Date:
1300–1310
Geography:
Armenia, Siwnik
Culture:
Armenian
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Page: H. 12 1/2 in. (31.7 cm) W. 9 1/4 in. (23.5cm) Mat: H. 19 3/16 in. (48.7 cm) W. 14 5/16 in. (36.4 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
38.171.2
Not on view
This richly decorated leaf emphasizes the Gospel of John as the summation of the four Gospels by including the symbols of the four evangelists—an angel for Saint Matthew, a lion for Saint Mark, an ox for Saint Luke, an eagle for Saint John—in the large first letter, or incipit, and in the elaborate headpiece over the text. Byzantine-style geometric patterns fill the rest of the incipit. Bird-shaped letters form the first words of the text. At the top is Christ, framed by peacocks, who raises his hand in blessing. Early Armenian theologians described birds as representing souls flying to heaven.
[ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, until 1938; sold to MMA]
Mathews, Thomas F., and Roger Wieck. "Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts." In Treasures in Heaven. Princeton, NJ: Morgan Library & Museum, 1994. no. 51, p. 184, ill. fig. 134 (b/w).



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