The J. Paul Getty Museum

Bible

Object Details

Title:

Bible

Artists/Makers:

Malnazar (Armenian, active about 1630s)

and Aghap'ir (Armenian, active about 1630s)

and Baghram

and Ep'rem

Culture:

Armenian

Place:

Isfahan, Persia (Place Created)

Date:

1637–1638

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment bound between original wood boards covered with reddish brown morocco

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig I 14 (83.MA.63)

Dimensions:

Leaf: 25.2 × 18.3 cm (9 15/16 × 7 3/16 in.)

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Object Description

This Bible was written and illuminated in the Armenian quarter of Isfahan, the capital of Persia (present-day Iran) in the 1600s. The artists Malnazar and Aghap'ir lavishly decorated this book with scenes from the Old Testament, such as the Creation of the World, and portraits of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They also included a set of six elaborately decorated canon tables that help the reader to cross-reference the same story in more than one of the four Gospels. The artists framed each chart with an archway delicately adorned with fanciful animals, peacocks, roosters, plants, and, for the first canon table, a small portrait of Eusebius of Caesarea, who developed the canon tables in the 300s.

Provenance
Provenance
late 17th century

Family of Khoja Abdulê, Iranian and Bagher Abdulê, Iranian,

- 1962

Hagop Kevorkian, Armenian, 1872 - 1962

1962 - 1976

Private Collection (New York, New York) [sold, Catalogue of Important Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures, Sotheby's, London, April 12, 1976, lot 194, to Dr. Peter Ludwig.]

1976 - 1983

Dr. Peter Ludwig, German, 1925 - 1996 and Irene Ludwig, German, 1927 - 2010, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Treasures in Heaven (May 4 to October 23, 1994) (fols. 2v-3; fols. 320v-321)
  • Pierpont Morgan Library (New York), May 4 to August 7, 1994
  • Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore), August 28 to October 23, 1994
Book Arts of Isfahan: Diversity and Identity in 17th Century Persia (October 24, 1995 to January 14, 1996) (fols. 488v-489)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 24, 1995 to January 14, 1996
The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor (September 11 to December 2, 2001) (fols. 490v-491)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 11 to December 2, 2001
Byzantium and the West (September 14 to December 5, 2004) (fols. 511v-512)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004
The Gospels in Medieval Manuscript Illumination (October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007) (fols. 492v-493)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 31, 2006 to January 7, 2007
Temptation and Salvation: The Psalms of King David (June 9 to August 16, 2009) (fols. 320v-321)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 9 to August 16, 2009
Stories to Watch: Narrative in Medieval Manuscripts (February 22 to May 15, 2011) (fols. 2v-3)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 22 to May 15, 2011
Fashion in the Middle Ages (May 31 to August 14, 2011) (fols. 320v-321)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 31 to August 14, 2011
"In the Beginning was the Word": Medieval Gospel Illumination (August 30 to November 27, 2011) (fols. 495v-496)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 30 to November 27, 2011
Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts (January 22 to June 26, 2016) (fols. 320v-321; fols. 358v-359)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 22 to June 26, 2016
Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World (January 30 to April 8, 2018) (cover.c)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 30 to April 8, 2018
Artful Words: Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts (December 18, 2018 to April 7, 2019) (fols. 495v-496; fols. 522v-523)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 18, 2018 to April 7, 2019
Bibliography
Bibliography

Nersessian, Sirapie Der. The Chester Beatty Library. A Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts (Dublin: Hodges Figgis, 1958)s, xl. no. 3; 11, no. 1.

Rhodes, Erroll F. An Annotated List of Armenian New Testament Manuscripts, Tokyo, 1959, p. 148, no. 1136.

Catalogue, "Important Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures", Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co, 1976.

Euw, Anton von, and Joachim M. Plotzek. Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig. 4 vols. (Cologne: Schnütgen-Museum, 1979-1985), vol. 1 (1979), pp. 124-33.

Nordenfalk, Carl. Review of Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig, by Anton von Euw and Joachim M. Plotzek. Kunstchronik 33, no. 2 (February 1980), p. 67.

"Manuscript Acquisitions: The Ludwig Collection." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12, 1984, p. 284.

Nersessian, Vrej. The Bible in the Armenian Tradition (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 10, 31, 76-77.

Sciacca, Christine. Building the Medieval World (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum; London: The British Library, 2010), p. 42, fig. 38.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), pp. 103-4, fig. 77.

Bullock, C. Hassell, Mark L. Strauss, and John H. Walton. Psalms 2 vols. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2015), vol. 1, p. 89, ill.

Maarten van Lint, Theo. "Tracce di una Civilta." Alumina 14, no. 52 (January-March 2016), p. 35, ill.

Keene, Bryan C. Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the World through Illuminated Manuscripts. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2019, pp. 109–11,111.