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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Four Gospels in Armenian

Tempera and gold on paper; stamped leather binding
Overall: 11 1/16 x 7 5/8 x 3 3/8 in. (28.1 x 19.4 x 8.5 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
Purchase, Fletcher Fund, Hagop Kevorkian Fund Gift, in memory of Hagop Kevorkian, Tianaderrah Foundation, B.H. Breslauer Foundation, Aso O. Tavitian, Karen Bedrosian Richardson, Elizabeth Mugar Eveillard and Arax Simsarian Gifts and funds from various donors, 2010
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
Illuminated manuscripts are among the finest works of Armenian art as the "Word" has been the primary focus of veneration in the Armenian Church since its founding in the early fourth century. In the fifteenth century under Mongol domination in the region of Khizan near Lake Van (now in Turkey), Armenian artists developed the dramatic narrative style of illumination seen here.  Colophons, notations in the text, identify this gospel as written by the scribe Margar for the Monastery of St. George at Mokk’ at the order of Bishop Sion.  As it typical for Armenian gospels, the illuminations of the life of Christ are grouped at the beginning of the text before the Canon Tables with an evangelist’s portrait introducing each gospel.
Monastery of Saint George, province of Mokk', S. W. of Lake Van, Eastern Turkey by scribe Magare; Sargis and Yaruthiwn, sons of Zarif (1731); Lady Shaghbekin and her family(19th century); Church of Pogan, near Tchoulamerig (ca. 1900); Hagop Kevorkian, New York (by 1944–1977); [Kevorkian Fund sale, Sotheby's, London(May 2, 1977, no. 178)]; [ H. P. Kraus, New York (1981)]; Schøyen collection, Oslo (by 1996); [ Sam Fogg Ltd., London (sold 2009)]
Lalayan, Yervand. Tsʿutsʿak hayerēn dzeṛagratsʿ Vaspurakani (Catalogue of Armenian Manuscripts of Vaspurakan). Tiflis, 1915. no. 161.

Hovsepian, Garegin. "An Armenian Monthly." Hayastaneayts Ekeghetsi (October 1944). pp. 7-9.

Der Nersessian, Sirarpie, and A. Chester Beatty. The Chester Beatty Library: a Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts, with an Introduction on the History of Armenian Art. Dublin: Hodges Figgis, 1958. xxxvi, 17, 48, 55, 56, 88.

Rhodes, Erroll F. An Annotated List of Armenian New Testament Manuscripts. Tokyo: Department of Christian Studies, Rikkyo University, 1959. no. 1138, p. 148.

Catalogue of Important Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures: The Property of the Hagop Kevorkian Fund. London: Sotheby's, May 2, 1977. no. 178, pp. 86-87.

Kebabian, John S., and Roland Folter, ed. Illuminated Manuscripts from the Eleventh to the Eighteenth Centuries. Catalogue, Vol. 159. New York: H. P. Kraus, 1981. no. 33, p. 71, pl. XXXI.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2008-2010." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 67, no. 2 (Fall 2010). p. 17.

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