Mesrop of Xizan
Illuminator, painter, scribe, clerk, teacher, doctor of theology, restorer and binder, Mesrop of Xixan (fl. 1608 to 1651) was one of the greatest and most prolific Armenian artists of his and following generations. This book will be the first serious study of all 46 of his extant manuscripts, with a particular focus on The Four Gospels, one of the few manuscripts painted entirely by Mesrop’s hand. The Four Gospels is also one of the most extensively illuminated in his oeuvre, with an extraordinary series of illuminations of both Old and New Testament scenes in no less than twenty-three full page miniatures, and seventeen smaller miniatures, all reproduced in this publication.
In this book, the author sheds light not only on Mesrop’s career but also on those of Armenian miniaturists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Through a thorough analysis of Mesrop’s works, Arakelyan is able to closely study the working methods of artists working in the scriptoria of Vaspurakan, Mokk' and New Julfa. He demonstrates the dramatic and exciting way in which these artists deliberately maintained a style of illumination rooted in Early Christianity. This monograph will have tremendous significance not only for Armenologists but also for Byzantinists and all historians of Christian art.
Dr Mikayel Arakelyan is a Senior Researcher at the Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Yerevan and a member of both the Association Internationale des Études Arméniennes and Armenian National Committee of the Association of Byzantinists.