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Matenadaran: Miniatures Stand 3 side 2

 Scribes and illuminators worked together: first the scribe copied text from an original manuscript onto a page, leaving room for illuminations. When he finished the illuminator began to decorate the page. Then completed written and illuminated pages were sewn together into quires consisting of 6, 8 or 12 pages that were then bound into a book. Before or after binding, the leading colophon (publication details) of the manuscript was created, with information about the scribe, the illuminator, the sponsor who ordered the manuscript, the place and time of its creation, the political events of the time and so on. Later new owners, restorers or people who rescued manuscripts from captivity added colophons in the manuscripts.

Armenian scribes and miniature painters worked in extreme conditions yet were devoted to their art. Thanks to their enormous work and despite the many works that have been lost, an increasing number have survived, each unique in its own beauty, rich decorative illuminations and colophons.


4. The Evangelists, Gospel,13th c.,
Cilicia, Matenadaran, MS 9422,
pg 161b
5. The Evangelist Luke and the
Apostle Peter, Gospel, 1292,
Siunik, Matenadaran, MS 6292 ,
pg 102b
6. Colophon, 1292 , scribe- Momik,
Noravank, Matenadaran, MS
2848, pg 147b

Text and images provided by the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts.

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