The Illustrations of The Gospel No. 9422 of Mashtots Matenadaran
Satenik L. Chookaszian
The 13th century miniature of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia is representing the most splendid period. The artistic phenomena that Toros Roslin brought to Armenian miniature were revealed in the oeuvre of his pupils and successors. This article is dedicated to the ornamentations of the Gospel No. 9422 of Mashtots Matenadaran. The manuscript was illustrated by the joint efforts of his successors. The manuscript’s story is not a simple one. The colophons have been lost but judging by the splendour of miniatures the donator was a rich person. The manuscript includes two canon tables of the Epistle of Eusebius to Carpianus, the ten canon tables concordance, four portraits of the Evangelists, corresponding title pages and six miniatures from Christ’s life.
Complex and graceful structure is typical for the miniatures of this manuscript. It is evident that they were painted by a mature artist. Any of the canon tables is a fine and wonderful work of art. The decoration of the canons reveals the scrupulous drafting of details, and we can see the artist’s amazing play of imagination in creation of the decorative texture. Stylized features of prophets, saints and the Virgin appear in the capitals and pedestals of canon columns. In the frontal decoration of canon tables we can see a combination of animal and human heads with twisted stalks, turning into a flowery ornament.
Undoubtedly, this wonderful manuscript is one of the masterpieces of Cilician miniature of the post-Roslin period, and illustration of the Gospel No 9422 is one of the splendid pages of Armenian medieval art.