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Matenadaran: Miniatures Stand 3 side 4

 Medieval painting and particularly miniature painting was canonical i.e. there were definite principles and rules according in which medieval artists worked; these rules limited the scope of the artists' works but they also had a positive effect. They became a kind of school for artists, if a rule is a combination of continuously accepted principles (iconographic, metaphorical, religious and artistic). And of course the most talented artists emerged from this limitations of standards to make innovations in their art.

Artists had a unique attitude towards their work; for them an image was the means not the end, i.e. the artist tried to retell the stories of the Bible through depicting an image, not just by illustrating a text.


10. The Last supper, Gospel, 13th-
14th cc., Artsakh, Matenadaran,
MS 316, pg.11a
11. Manuscript pages, “Gospel by
Eight painters”, the end of
13th c., Matenadaran, MS
7651, pg. 79b and 81a

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

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