Anna Leyloyan-Yekmalyan, Deux modèles insolites d’iconographie de la Pentecôte dans la miniature du Vaspurakan des XIVe-XVe siècles

Anna Leyloyan-Yekmalyan - Centre de recherches Europe-Eurasie, INALCO, Paris
p. 91-105
Online publication date: 
Armenian art; miniature of Vaspurakan; Pentecost; Creation of the world; Noah’s Ark; Christ in Majesty; Second Coming; Vision of Ezekiel; Apocalypse

This study features two iconographic types of the Pentecost very common in the 14th century and at the beginning of the 15th century in the art of the miniature of Vaspurakan. The first one shows a composition in three levels which imitates a structure with lower and upper rooms, similar to Noah’s Ark (Gen 6. 14–16) which is the prefiguration of the Christian Church. Always less than twelve in number, the apostles gather in the Upper House and receive the Holy Spirit, represented by a dove which descends from the vault of heaven. The miniaturists of Vaspurakan evoke the idea of creating a new eschatologic people, as did Noah when he, along with his family, emerged from his Ark to become the new humanity which was to rebuild and repopulate the universe ravaged by the deluge (Gen 8, 13–9, 1–2). The second type shows a composition divided in two: the image of the tetramorphic throne dominates the top portion; below, the apostles in the Upper House are depicted. Once again a tiered reading of the Pentecost is proposed, inspired by Genesis and particularly by the creation of the world, since the apostles received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to reconstruct and repopulate the regenerated new world. It is probably this interpretation which is proposed by the miniaturists of Vaspurakan in these highly unusual images.