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The Gospels

9 5/8 x 7 1/2 x 4 1/8 in. (24.5 x 19 x 10.5 cm)

Grigor of Tarsos
Armenia (active 1215 - 1255)

Object Type: Manuscript
Medium and Support: Ink, tempera, and gold on parchment; tooled brown leather and green silk binding
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1950.8
Location: Currently on view
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Illuminated manuscripts introduced the Byzantine style to most of Europe. This beautifully illustrated version of the Gospels comes from Armenia in modern-day Turkey. It was commissioned by a priest and written by the scribe Grigor of Tarsos; an unknown artist created the four illuminations of the Evangelists at a later date. The fragile manuscript traded hands during the Armenian Genocide in 1915, and came into Memorial Art Gallery’s collections in 1950, where conservators have treated it in hopes of preserving it for generations to come.

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Vladimir H. Simkovitch, New York; purchased from him by the Gallery in 1950

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GOSPEL LESSON Listen to music chosen for this artwork from MUSICUS, the world’s first online museum of music.
GRATES NUNC OMNES Listen to music chosen for this artwork from MUSICUS, the world’s first online museum of music. This brief (and rare) sequence was sung at the first Christmas Mass in German-speaking areas. Its melody, known as Ostende nobis, was widely sung throughout England, France, and parts of the Italian peninsula and was typically reserved for the season of Advent.
It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013

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