AN INTRODUCTION TO ARMENIAN MANUSCRIPT ILLUMINATION ~ Selections from the Collection in the Walters Art Gallery
By Sirarpie Der Nersessian
According to literary evidence, Armenian illumination had begun soon after the invention of the Armenian alphabet, at the beginning of the the fifth century, when large scriptoria were established in different provinces. But with the exception of two leaves bound in a Gospels of later date, no illustrated manuscript prior to the second half of the ninth century is preserved. However, from that time to the end of of the seventeenth century, and even the early years of the eighteenth, there is an almost uninterrupted series of richly illustrated works. The large number that has survived despite the destruction wrought by time and man testifies to the important place they occupied in the lives of the people.
Walters Art Gallery (1974)