Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts


The Armenian tradition of illuminating and illustrating handwritten manuscripts dates as far back as the seventh century and continued to flourish under royal patronage in the kingdom of Cilicia in the tenth and eleventh centuries. In this AGBU WebTalk, Professor Christina Maranci explores the range of functions that these manuscripts served—from modest personal devotion to more lavishly illustrated displays of elite status of patrons. A closer examination of illuminated manuscripts reveals a wealth of artistic traditions and influences that have been absorbed, rethought, and integrated into a distinctively Armenian iconography, one that speaks to Armenian religious and liturgical practices and that has endured as an affirmation of Armenian identity through the centuries.