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Armenia: Art, Religion, and Trade in the Middle Ages

Armenia: Art, Religion, and Trade in the Middle Ages

Various authors
352 pages
282 illustrations
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At the foot of Mount Ararat on the crossroads of the eastern and western worlds, medieval Armenians dominated international trading routes that reached from Europe to China and India to Russia. As the first people to convert officially to Christianity, they commissioned and produced some of the most extraordinary religious objects of the Middle Ages. These objects—from sumptuous illuminated manuscripts to handsome carvings, liturgical furnishings, gilded reliquaries, exquisite textiles, and printed books—show the strong persistence of their own cultural identity, as well as the multicultural influences of Armenia’s interactions with Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Muslims, Mongols, Ottomans, and Europeans.

This unprecedented volume, written by a team of international scholars and members of the Armenian religious community, contextualizes and celebrates the compelling works of art that define Armenian medieval culture. It features breathtaking photographs of archaeological sites and stunning churches and monasteries that help fill out this unique history. With groundbreaking essays and exquisite illustrations, Armenia illuminates the singular achievements of a great medieval civilization.

Double-Sided Gospel Leaf, Tempera on parchment, Ethiopian
first half 14th century
Bowl, Composite body; incised and pierced
12th century
Textile with Brocade, Silk, metal thread, French or Italian
French or Italian
13th–14th century
Tapestry with Dragons and Flowers, Silk tapestry, Eastern Central Asia
Eastern Central Asia
11th–12th century
Leaf from a Gospel Book with Four Standing Evangelists, Tempera and ink on parchment, Armenian
Four Gospels in Armenian, Tempera and gold on paper; stamped leather binding, Armenian
Egg-Shaped Ornament, Frit body with green, yellow, blue and brownish black underglaze painting, Armenian
mid-18th century
Armenian Gospel with Silver Cover, Manuscript: ink and tempera on parchment<br/>Cover: gilded silver repoussé, with colored enamels, jewels, and imitation gems
manuscript: 13th century; cover: dated 1691
Cope, Silk, cotton, metal wrapped thread; cut and voided velvet, brocaded, embroidered, with engraved metal fittings
first half 17th century (velvet)
Kalamkari Hanging with Figures in an Architectural Setting, Cotton; plain weave, mordant-painted and dyed, resist-dyed
ca. 1640–50
De gli habiti antichi et moderni di diversi parti del mondo, libri due ..., Cesare Vecellio  Italian, Woodcut
Multiple artists/makers
Biblia Sacra, Christoffel van Sichem II  Dutch
Christoffel van Sichem II

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———. 2018. Armenia: Art, Religion, and Trade in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan museum of art.