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Gospel Book

Copied by the priest Nerses Armenian
Illuminated by Sargis Pidzak Armenian

Not on view

In this image, the celebrated painter Sargis Pidzak places Princess Femi, daughter of Mariun, queen of Armenia, in first-century Bethlehem. Kneeling, she pours a bath for the newborn Jesus, who already has one foot in the basin. Did such imaginings narrow the distance between Armenia and Bethlehem for Queen Mariun, for whom this book was made? Late in life, Queen Mariun made Jerusalem her home, joining the community of Armenian nuns there and likely offering this book as a gift at that time.

Gospel Book, Copied by the priest Nerses (Armenian, active Sis, mid-14th century), Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment, Armenian

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