Scribe and painter: Elder priest Nikoghos Melanavor

The Crimean school is one of the prominent centers of Armenian miniature painting. Even following the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, a substantial Armenian population migrated to Crimea (particularly at the end of the 14th century), carrying with them also manuscripts. In Crimea, Armenian miniaturists began reproducing copies from the Cilician manuscripts as well. During the 17th century, the Armenian scriptoria in Crimea witnessed a revival in the art of manuscript illustration. One noteworthy example from this period is a manuscript copied from the renowned 14th-century Cilician Gospel of the Eight Miniaturists. This manuscript was copied and illustrated by Nikoghayos Tsaghkarar or Melanavor, one of the most distinguished figures in the Crimean school of miniature painting.

In this manuscript, the miniatures intricately complement the accompanying text, just like the Cilician prototype. Nikoghayos depicted the scenes of the Adoration of the Magi, the Angel’s Revelation to Joseph, and the Flight into Egypt. In the upper section of the illustrated sheet one sees the Mother of God, enthroned, cradling the Infant Jesus in her arms.