The J. Paul Getty Museum

Canon Table Page

Object Details


Canon Table Page


T'oros Roslin (Armenian, active 1256 - 1268)
T'oros Roslin (Armenian, active 1256 - 1268)




Hromklay, Armenia (Place Created)




Tempera and gold paint on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 59 (94.MB.71), fol. 7v


Leaf: 26.5 × 19 cm (10 7/16 × 7 1/2 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia

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Object Description

Like the other canon table pages from the Zeyt'un Gospels, this illumination is notable for its busy decoration, varied color, and architectural structure. Some of these features recall the characteristics of Byzantine church architecture as discussed in literature. The Byzantine author Procopius, for example, described the great church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in this way: "Who could recount the beauty of the columns and marbles. . . . For one would surely marvel at the purple hue of some, the green of others, at those on which the crimson blooms. . . . And so the visitor's mind is lifted up to God. . . ."

In this canon table, which is heavily indebted to Byzantine art, Procopius's aesthetic of colorful variety instilling wonder in the viewer was surely still at work. The diversity of hue--green, blue, orange, gold, and pink--and the foliate decoration of the framework surrounding the text must have suggested a similar heavenly context to the manuscript's readers.

Treasures in Heaven (May 4 to October 23, 1994)
  • Pierpont Morgan Library (New York), May 4 to August 7, 1994
  • Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore), August 28 to October 23, 1994
The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843-1261 (March 3 to July 6, 1997)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), March 3 to July 6, 1997
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003
Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads (March 25 to June 22, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 25 to June 22, 2014