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The Psalter of King Levon III

Background

This illumination (actual size 23 x 15 centimetres) is from a psalter, a type of prayer book used for private worship. A note on one of the folios denotes it once belonged to the Armenian king, Levon III in 1283.

The scene is typical of the reverence shown to the Mary, the Mother of God who, in Armenian worship, is the first of all the saints. The iconography has been inspired by Byzantine techniques.

This page enables you to explore this exquisite illumination, one of the exhibition's most spectacular treasures, and explains the significance of each detailed element. Simply roll your mouse over the image to reveal the hidden meanings behind the pictures. (Note: you must have a version 4 browser or better to see the details and explanations).

 

 
The Angel Armenian Text The Psalter of King Levon III, The British Library, Or. 13804.
Birds Figures of Mary and Jesus Birds The Psalter of King Levon III, The British Library, Or. 13804.
The Psalter of King Levon III, The British Library, Or. 13804.
Figure bottom right The Psalter of King Levon III, The British Library, Or. 13804.
The Psalter of King Levon III, The British Library, Or. 13804.
The Psalter of King Levon III, The British Library, Or. 13804.
Image detail Explanatory text  
 
 

The Psalter of King Levon III, The British Library, Or. 13804.

 

The exhibition is generously supported by Vatche and Tamar Manoukian and the Manoukian Charitable Foundation.