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T"oros Roslin
Armenian, Hromklay, 1256
Tempera colors, gold paint, and ink on parchment
10 7/16 x 7 1/2 in.
MS. 59, FOL. 6

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In this canon table from the Zeyt'un Gospels, the illuminator T'oros Roslin enlivened the tightly controlled geometry of the architecture with minutely observed naturalistic details. Abstract leaf forms, zigzags, bunches of grapes, and, in the upper quadrants, disembodied mask-like heads, fill the rigid, geometrically divided attic above the columns. The carefully balanced plants and animals on the edges form a loose frame around the architecture, which is itself symmetrical. The use of similar motifs, like the same roosters and pomegranate trees, on this folio and the facing page unites the double-page spread, providing evidence of Roslin's sensitive planning of his manuscript project.