This awesome medieval manuscript was created by Toros Roslin, the most prominent Armenian manuscript illuminator of the High Middle Ages. The Walters Art Museum has digitized one of his illuminated manuscripts for everyone to view. Only 7 such manuscripts from Toros Roslin have survived until today. Click on the pages to enlarge, the manuscript itself starts from page 32.
This manuscript was made in 1262 by Toros Roslin, the celebrated illuminator who extended the iconographic repertoire by defining a narrative Gospel cycle beyond the traditional portraits of the Evangelists. This signed manuscript was created at the scriptorium of Hromkla, which became the leading artistic center of Armenian Cilicia under the rule of Catholicos Constantine I (1221-1267). As an extensive colophon starting on fol. 406v explains, Toros created this manuscript under commission from the nephew of Constantine, a priest also named Toros. It is one of seven known manuscripts bearing Toros Roslins signature, and it is the most sumptuous of them all, with 15 miniatures and 67 smaller illustrations. The style of the images suggests that Toros had several assistants helping with the illustrations, though the overall quality remains extremely high. The manuscript was long cherished within the Armenian church. Even in the seventeenth century, its illumination served as a model for Armenian scribes, particularly Bargham and his son Mikayel; see Jerusalem, Armenian Patriarchate, no. 3438 and Washington DC, Freer Gallery, Ms. 36.15; in the latter manuscript, Mikayel explicitly refers to the excellent scribe Toros, surnamed Roslin.