The Church of St. Gregory, also known by the name of Tigran Honents, is one of the most renowned monuments in Ani, one of the historical capitals of Armenia, now a ghost city. Unlike many other local monuments, the church has reached our days in a good state of preservation, thanks to which its murals have been preserved. The frescoes of Tigran Honents have long been a subject of interest for researchers: information regarding them can be found in the works by N. Marr, N. Sichyov, H. Orbely, D. Gordeyev, N. Thierry, A. Kakovkin, and others. They are of great interest both from artistic and iconographic standpoints; besides, they have a number of peculiarities which still keep specialists from reaching a unanimous viewpoint regarding their national and confessional identity. For this reason, we have devoted our report to the frescoes of Tigran Honents, especially taking into account the recent approaches to the issue, elaborated in the past several decades, and the fact that the monument has become accessible for researchers. We shall discuss the frescoes of Tigran Honents only from the standpoint of their confessional and national belonging.The murals of Tigran Honents are particularly distinguished for their stylistic affinity with the local Oriental tradition, while their iconography makes them akin to the Byzantine tradition. Besides, they are accompanied with bilingual inscriptions in Greek and Georgian, while their subject and characters are connected with an important event in the history of Armenia — the adoption of Christianity as the state religion. The frescoes include a hagiographic cycle depicting Gregory the Enlightener, the only one of the kind to have reached our days. There are also two scenes depicting the virgin followers of St. Hripsime.The frescoes of Tigran Honents have been attributed to Armenian Chalcedonian art, which took form as a result of the convergence of various traditions. We particularly have focused our attention on the language of the aforementioned inscriptions, the issue that has not always been interpreted in the context of the medieval realm. The iconographic and stylistic analyses of the frescoes have enabled us to reveal the precise features typical of Armenian Chalcedonian art and to clarify the issue of the confessional and national belonging of the Churchof Tigran Honents.
- Amiranashvili Sh. Ia. Istoriia gruzinskoi monumental’noi zhivopisi (History of Georgian Monumental Painting), vol. 1. Tbilisi, Sakhelgami Publ., 1957. 359 p. (in Russian).
- Arutiunova-Fidanian V. (introd., trans. and comment.). Tipik Grigoriia Pakuriana (Typikon of Gregory Pakurian). Yerevan, Armenian Academy of Sciences Publ., 1978. 248 p.
- Arutiunova-Fidanian V. A. Armiano-vizantiiskaia kontaktnaia zona (X–XI vv.) (Armenian-Byzantian Contact Zone (10th–11th Centuries)). Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1994. 236 p. (in Russian).
- Arutiunova-Fidanian V. Povestvovanie o delakh armianskikh (VII vek). Istochnik i vremia (Narratio de rebus Armeniae (7th Century). The Source and the Time). Moscow, Indrik Publ., 2004. 272 p. (in Russian).
- Arutjunova-Fidanjan V. A. The Ethno-Confessional Self-Awareness of Armenian Chalcedonians. Revue des Etudes Armeniennes, 1988–1989, vol. 21, pp. 345–363.
- Babiċ G. Les programmes absidaux eu Géorgie et dans les Balkans entre de XI et XIII siècle. L’art Georgiana dal IX al XIV secolo, vol. 1. Barri, Galatina Publ., 1986, pp. 117–136 (in French).
- Bart’ikyan H. La signature arménienne du Protos de la grande Lavra Théoktistos (Sur la question de l’activité des arméniens-chalcédoniens à Athos. Banber Matenadaran, 1973, no. 11, pp. 68–72 (in Armenian).
- Demus O. The Mosaics of San Marco in Venice, vol. 1. Chicago; London, University of Chicago Press Publ., 1984. 496 p.
- Der Nersessian S. Armenian Gospel Illustration as Seen in Manuscripts in American Collections. Etudes Byzantines et Armeniennes. Louvain, Imprimerie orientaliste Publ., 1973, pp. 517–524.
- Der Nersessian S. Les portraits de Gregoire l’illuminateur dans l’art byzantine. Etudes Byzantines et Armeniennes. Louvain, Imprimerie orientaliste Publ., 1973, pp. 55–60 (in French).
- Der Nersessian S. Une apologie des images du septième siècle. Etudes Byzantines et Armeniennes. Louvain, Imprimerie orientaliste Publ., 1973, pp. 405–415 (in French).
- Durnovo L. A. Freski monastyria Kirants (The Murals of Kirants). Yerevan, Aiastan Publ., 1990. 38 p. (in Russian).
- Eastmond A. “Local” Saints, Art and Regional Identity in the Orthodox World after the Fourth Crusade. Speculum, 2003, vol. 78, no. 3, pp. 707–749.
- Hakobyan Z. David-Gareji. The Murals of the Monastery of Sabereeby with Armenian Legends
- (10th Century). Banber hayagitowt’yan (Journal of Armenian Studies), 2013, nos. 2–3, pp. 130–164 (in Armenian).
- Hakobyan Z. Armenian Monumental Painting of the 7th Century in the Context of Eastern Christian Tradition. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art. Collection of articles, vol. 6. A. V. Zakharova; S. V. Maltseva; E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova (eds.). Saint Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2016, pp. 133–142 (in Russian). Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.18688/aa166–2–14 (accessed 23 April 2017).
- Hakobyan Z. Armenian Gospel of Trebizond in the Context of Byzantine Art. Obraz Vizantii. Sbornik statei v chest’ O. S. Popovoi (Obraz Vizantii. Collected articles in Honour of O. S. Popova). Moscow, Severnyi palomnik Publ., 2008, pp. 29–46 (in Russian).
- Kakovkain A. Ia. The Notes on the Features of the Hagiographical Cycle of Gregory Illuminator in the Church of Tigran Honents. Istoriko-filologicheskii Zhurnal (Historical-Phililogical Journal), 1990, no. 2, pp. 227–236 (in Russian).
- Kakovkin A. Ia. The Wall Paintings of the Tigran Honents in Ani: The Iconography Programme and Main Concept. Vestnik EGU (Bulletin of Yerevan University), 1983, no. 2 (50), pp. 106–114 (in Russian).
- Kakovkin A. Ia. The Scene of “The Miraculous Appearance of the Life-Giving Pillar” in the Murals of the Church of St. Gregory (1215) in Ani. Zograf, 1989, no. 20, pp. 30–32 (in Russian).
- Lazarev V. N. Istoriia vizantiiskoi zhivopisi (History of Byzantine Painting), vol. 1. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1986. 322 p. (in Russian).
- Lidov A. M. The Art of the Armenian-Chalcedonians. Istoriko-filologicheskii Zhurnal (Historical-Phililogical Journal), 1990, no. 1, pp. 75–88 (in Russian).
- Lidov A. The Wall Painting of Akhtala and the Art of the Armenian-Chalcedonians. Iz istorii Drevnego mira i Srednevekov’ia (From the History of the Ancient World and Middle Ages). Moscow, Moscow State university Publ., 1987, pp. 121–136 (in Russian).
- Lidov A. Rospisi monastyria Akhtala. Istoriia, ikonografiia, mastera (The Wall Painting of Akhtala Monastery. History, Iconography, Masters). Moscow, Dmitry Pozharsky University Publ., 2014. 528 p. (in Russian).
- Makarova M. The Altar Apse Frescoes in the Church of Nativity of the Virgin in Betania (Georgia): Painting Style and Question of Dating. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art. Collection of articles, vol. 2. A. V. Zakharova (ed.). Saint Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2012, pp. 100–107 (in Russian).
- Marr N. Ia. Ani: Knizhnaia istoriia goroda i raskopki na meste gorodishcha (Ani: The Literary History of the City and the Excavations at the Settlement). Leningrad; Moscow, Gosudarstvennoe sotsial’no-ekonomicheskoe izdatel’stvo Publ., 1934. 133 p. (in Russian).
- Marr N. Ia. “Ark’aun”, the Mongol Denomination of Christians in Connection with the Problem of the Chalcedonian Armenians. Kavkazskii kul’turnyi mir i Armeniia (Caucasian Cultural World and Armenia). P. M. Muradian (ed.). Yerevan, Gandzasar Publ., 1995, pp. 209–276 (in Russian).
- Marr N. Ia. The Christening of Armenians, Georgians, Abkhazian and Ossetian by St. Gregory. Zapiski vostochnogo otdeleniia Imperatorskogo Rossiiskogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva (Proceedings of the Eastern Department of Russian Imperial Archaelogical Society), 1905, no. 6, pp. 63–211 (in Russian).
- Marr N. Ia. The Inscription of Epiphany, the Katolikos of Georgia. Izvestiia Imperatorskoi akademii nauk (The Bulletin of the Imperial Academy of Science), 1910, pp. 1433–1442 (in Russian).
- Muradian P. M. Armianskaia epigrafika Gruzii. Kartli i Kakheti (Armenian Epigraphy of Georgia. Kartli and Kakheti). Yerevan, Academy of Sciences of Armenian SSR Publ., 1985. 228 p. (in Russian).
- Muradian P. M. Caucasian Cultural World and the Cult of Gregory Illuminator. Kavkaz i Vizantiia (Caucasus and Buzantium), 1982, vol. 3, pp. 5–20 (in Russian).
- Muradian P. M. The Problem of the Confessional Guidance of Honents’s Church (the Short Analyses of the Sources and Literature). Kavkaz i Vizantiia (Caucasus and Buzantium), 1987, vol. 5, pp. 36–81 (in Russian).
- Muradian P. M. The Building and the Confession of Tigran Honents’s Church According to Epigraphy. Istoriko-filologicheskii Zhurnal (Historical-Philological Journal), 1985, no. 4, pp. 174–189 (in Russian).
- Muradyan P. M. Hayastani vraceren ard’anagrowt’yownnery’ (The Georgian Epigraphy of Armenia). Yerevan, Yerevan Univesity Publ., 1977. 362 p. (in Armenian).
- Shandrovskaya V.; Bart’ikyan H. A Byzantine Lead Seal with Greek-Armenian Inscription from the Collection of the State Hermitage. Istoriko-filologicheskii Zhurnal (Historical-Philological Journal), 1991, no. 1, pp. 122–128 (in Armenian).
- Step’anos O’rbelyan. Syowniqi patmowt’yown (History of Sunik). Yerevan, Sovetakan grogh Publ., 1986. 616 p. (in Armenian). Thierry N. et M. L’église Saint-Grégoire de Tigran Honenc’ à Ani (1215). Louvain; Paris, Peeters Publ., 1993. 174 p. (in French).
- Velmans T. L’image de la Dèisis dans les églises de Géorgie et dans celles d’autres regions du monde Byzantin. Cahiers Archéologiques, vol. 29, 1980–1981, pp. 47–102 (in French).