Title Page of the Gospel of John

Illuminator Sargis Armenian

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.

Title Page of the Gospel of John, Sargis (active early 14th century), Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.