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TREASURES IN HEAVEN: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts

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Edited by Thomas F. Mathews and Roger S. Wicck  For over a thousand years the pre-eminent expression of Armenian culture was the illuminated manuscript--above all, the illustrated Gospel Book. Brilliantly painted and often bound in silver and decorated with jewels, these volumes constitute the principal source of information on the history, religion, language, and art of Armenia. Treasures in Heaven is a comprehensive introduction in English to the art and history of Armenian manuscript painting. It reveals the degree to which this art form embodies a distinctively Armenian aesthetic and religious experience. Eighty-eight of the most significant examples of Armenian manuscript illumination are reproduced and extensively discussed in the catalog. Essays by a team of international scholars examine each of the principal schools and periods of Armenian illumination--from the earliest surviving works of the seventh century to manuscripts produced by the Armenian Diaspora communities during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Chapters on the history and religion of Armenia place illuminated manuscripts within the broader context of Armenian culture. The distinctive techniques and materials of Armenian manuscript painting and bookbinding are also explained. Contributors to this volume include Helen C. Evans, Nina G. Garsoïan, Thomas F. Mathews, Krikor H. Maksoudian, Sylvie L. Merian, Mary Virginia Orna, and Alice Taylor.

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