Armenian Additions to a Greek Gospelbook: Brescia, Biblioteca Civica Queriniana A.VI.26

Kathleen Maxwell, Santa Clara University


Comparative studies of Byzantine and Armenian illuminated manuscripts invariably highlight the Armenian debt to Byzantium. Byzantine influence on Armenian illumination can be observed as early as the eleventh century. The narrative cycle of the Gospelbook of King Gagik of Kars (dated 1045-54) reflects the influence of both the Byzantine frieze Gospels in Paris (Bibl. Nat., cod. gr. 74) and the Lectionary in Athos (Dionysiou, cod. 587). Byzantine impact on later production may also be noted. Buschhausen has recently demonstrated that the majority of the narrative illustrations in the fourteenth-century Armenian Gospels, Vienna, Mekhitharist Library, cod. 242 were created by Greek artists in Armenian service. In view of the strength of Byzantine influence in the Armenian sphere, it is interesting to note an example that runs counter to this trend. This study will demonstrate that an Armenian artist executed the evangelist portraits of a Greek Gospelbook, Brescia, Civica Biblioteca, Fondo Querini, cod. A. VI. 26.