Painter: Arakel Geghametsi

Arakel Geghametsi, born into the esteemed “Great Arghutetsi family” and active in the Tvanch Desert of Karin and Vayots Dzor, stands out as a prominent figure in Armenian miniature painting from the late Middle Ages. His miniatures are notable for their distinctive original iconography, featuring a variety of uncommon household details, ornate decorations, and vibrant colors. The Nativity scene depicted in this Gospel is a testament to Geghametsi’s artistic uniqueness.

In the azure depths of the Bethlehem cave, the Mother of God resides, her knees bent to her chest as if in the throes of childbirth. Meanwhile, the infant Jesus stands adorned in a white cloak cascading from His shoulders, enveloping His hands as well. The shape and color of the garment of the Mother of God is also original. Her ornate cloak has a silver coloring instead of the usual red, purple, or blue. Joseph is also depicted in the scene, touching the edge of the Virgin Mary’s mantle with his right hand. This detail seems to be the incarnation of the following lines: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife.”