Leaf from a Gospel Book with Four Standing Evangelists

Date: 1290–1330

Geography: Made in Lake Van region, Vaspurakan (now eastern Turkey)

Culture: Armenian

Medium: Tempera and ink on parchment

Dimensions: Overall: 9 x 13 3/16 in. (22.8 x 33.5 cm)

Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations

Credit Line: Gift of Dr. J.C. Burnett, 1957

Accession Number: 57.185.3


In Armenia, east of the Byzantine empire, Christianity had been accepted as the state religion by 314. The figures on both sides of this page are identified in Armenian, for which a written language was developed about 400 A.D. to make possible the translation of Christian texts. Here (verso), the Four Evangelists—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—stand in a row. Represented on the other side (recto) is the Discovery of Christ's Empty Tomb, based on the Gospel of John (20:4–14).