Adoration of the Magi in a Gospel according to the four Evangelists

Historical period(s)
2nd half of the 13th century
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on parchment
H x W: 33 x 24 cm (13 x 9 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Armenia, Christianity, illumination, Jesus Christ, Joseph, virgin

Possibly Paron Wasak (1240-1284), commissioned the work [1]

?-by at least 1932
H. Kevorkian (1872-1962), method of acquisition unknown [2]

From 1932
The Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian [3]


[1] Curator notes (att. to J.E. Lodge) in object file state “indications of former ownership, supplied by the manuscript itself, appear on pages 52 and 625.” This relates to Paron Wasak.

[2] Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962) was a dealer and collector of Islamic works with eponymous galleries in New York and Paris. See April 12, 1932 invoice and March 17, 1932 letter to J.E. Lodge, documents in object file. See also letter dated February 19, 1932, from H. Kevorkian to J.E. Lodge stating that he placed “the superb Armenian manuscript as prepaid package” on the S.S. Europa, for The Freer Gallery. Regarding the missing representations of the four evangelists, Kevorkian notes, “The owners from whom I have purchased it assure me that the manuscript was just as it is to-day when they bought it ten years ago.” Said owners are not named in this letter.

[3] The Freer Gallery of Art paid H. Kevorkian in installments, the first on March 10, 1932, and the last on April 12, 1932. See object file for copies of invoices.

Research Completed November 21, 2022

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Paron Wasak
Hagop Kevorkian 1872-1962

Published References
  • George Sarton. Introduction to the History of Science. 3 vols., Baltimore, 1927-1947. vol. 3: p. 235.
  • Ioanna Rapti. Gloses Prophetiques sur l'Evangile: A Propos de Quelques Manuscripts Armeniens Enlumines en Cicilie dans les Annees 1260. no. 58 Washington. .
  • Seymour de Ricci, W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. 3 vols., New York, 1935-1940. cat. 12, vol. 1: p. 469.
  • Colum Hourihane. Pontius Pilate, Anti-Semitism, and the Passion in Medieval Art. Princeton. figs.43, 59, 115.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. The Freer Gallery of Art. Washington. p. 16.
  • Sirarpie Der Nersessian. Armenian Manuscripts in the Freer Gallery of Art. Oriental Studies Series, no. 6 Washington, 1963. pp. 26-54, pls. 28-63.
  • Diane Cabelli, Thomas F. Mathews. The Palette of Chatchatur of Khizan. no. 40. pp. 37-40.
  • Souvenir Program Booklet: 45th Annual Convention, Washington, D.C. Washington. p. 37.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 54-55.
  • Johan Carl Keyser Preus. Christmas Pages in our Libraries. vol. 18 Minneapolis. p. 57.
  • Helen Carney Evans. Manuscript Illumination at the Armenian Patriarchate in Hromka and the West. Ann Arbor. pp. 84, 113, 119, 126-142, 143-145, 147, 153, figs. 91-98; 100, 103-106, 108, 111, 113, 116, 119, 122-123, 125.
  • Sirarpie Der Nersessian. Armenia and the Byzantine Empire: A Brief Study of Armenian Art and Civilization. Cambridge, Massachusetts. pp. 85, 192, 489, pl. 22, 29, 39.
  • Archaeological Chemistry III. Advances in Chemistry Series, no. 205 Washington, 1984. pp. 243-254.
  • Avedis Krikor Sajian. Catalogue of Medieval Armenian Manuscripts in the United States. University of California Publications, Near Eastern Studies; vol. 16 Berkeley. pp. 728-733.
Collection Area(s)
Biblical Manuscripts
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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