Theirry's Vaspurakan

Anonymous Reader
Anonymous Reader

September 2nd, 2015, 1:34 pm #1

I guess this work.. but in french... must be an important reference on the subject, and see it price at 1-400usd

wondering how it compares?

Monuments Armeniens Du Vaspurakan.
Thierry, J. M.
Published by Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthne, Paris, 1989

also any thoughts on this obscure work? I have not been able to find a copy - is thierry more detailed on these?


Le Basiliche di Tʻux, Xncorgin, Pašvackʻ, Hogeacʻvankʻ
Paolo Cuneo
Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, 1973
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A.Schauer
A.Schauer

September 2nd, 2015, 4:37 pm #2

Hi,

I've got both books and do not regard them to be obscure. Which one helps you more depends on your field of interest. Whereas Thierry's work covers a broader area Cuneo's study focusses on four specific buildings.

Jean-Michel's 'Monuments Armeniens Du Vaspurakan' is in my opinion the essential scholarly work about the entire Vaspurakan region. Its content was first published as a series of articles in the Revue des Études Armeniennes and eventually consolidated in this monograph. Presently several copies are offered on Abebooks starting at approx. USD 53 (http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... vaspurakan ). And yes, it's written in French language.

Cuneo's book is in Italian. As my French is far better than my Italian I can't really judge about its scholarly quality. But as I really like his 2 vol. 'Architettura Armena Dal Quarto Al Diciannovesimo Secolo' as a reference work I also appreciate this more specific book on Armenian basilikas.

I come back to my statement above: the main question basically is about your field of interest. And please keep in mind that both works were written a couple of decades ago, so that a lot of information unfortunately do no longer represent the present state of these monuments.

I hope this helps.

Best regards

A.Schauer
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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

September 3rd, 2015, 3:44 am #3

Thanks for your comments, Mr Schauer. I have not so far considered getting a copy of Thierry's book because it was just reproducing the REA articles. But could you tell me - are there more photographs than in the original articles, and are they in colour? And what about his "Monuments arméniens de Haute-Arménie" - have you seen it and is that one just reproducing his old REA content too?

Cuneo's works seem more professional and detailed as far as dealing with the actual architecture. Thierry misses things and ignores many things (like ancillary buildings) - some of the misses are understandable given the conditions and the pioneering aspect of the work, but to miss recognising a whole chapel (such as at Hogeats vank), or not recognising a later addition as an addition (such as the west end of the church at Ardzgue) can seriously skew the description of a site.
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A.Schauer
A.Schauer

September 3rd, 2015, 9:20 pm #4

Concerning Thierry's monograph on Vaspurakan: I never tried to compile all the articles about Vaspurakan in the REA. As soon I realized he had published this compilation I decided to rather get a copy of that. Judging from the few examples I've got to compare I think that the monograph is the better choice as it presents the content in a more strucured manner and propably Thierry improved at least some of his initial mistakes. The pictures are in b/w only.

I always found it quite difficult to trace down all of Thierrys articels in all the periodicals he used. Have you ever tried to get your hands on Handes Amsorya? Or Bedi Kartlisa? Taking this into consideration I really appreciated that he published his "Monuments arméniens de Haute-Arménie". Basically it contains older articles and probably also a couple of unpublished findings. Thierry was born in 1916 and "Haute-Arménie" was published in 2005, hence it seems to be highly probable that he (or rather his publisher) used old material. Although this guy must have been a fanatic I can't imagine a almost 90 year old french guy scrutinizing remote areas in Anatolia...

For me Thierry is the most important guiding star whenever travelling in eastern Turkey. I do not expect to find any buildings, ruins, or remains in the same condition they were described decades ago (I regret that but have to accept sad reality). But due to the incredible zeal of Jean-Michel and Nicole Thierry I vistited dozens of places I would never have found on my own.

During the past 25 years I collected a vast stock of publications about Armenian, Georgian, Byzantine, and Assyrian Architecture, mainly in nowadays Turkey. Starting from Lynch, Bachmann, Strzygowski and some other scholars and travelers from the 19th and beginning 20th century there was a kind of boom in the 60ies and 70ies (at least concerning Armenian Architecture). I've got the impression that since that time more contemporary publications tend to reproduce basically older findings. I think that means that there are no more remote surprises left. The last one I read about was the quite significante Georgian church in the mountains above Dört Kilise that Bruno Baumgartner discovered in the 90ies...

All the best and thanks for all your efforts and passion with VirtualAni.

A.Schauer
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 6th, 2015, 4:04 pm #5

I guess Thierry is a worthwhile investment then.
It seems accessible enough. I remember Cuneo being quite interesting, but saw it only in a specialized library once. Where the heck CAN you find that book??

Seems like a few books like that by Cuneo and Robert Edwards' fortifications of Armenian Cilicia are next to impossible to find.

Just on the topic - I am wondering if you guys can help on these:

1. Can't seem to find this article either - guessing its the automative piece on Khorakert?
Scalesse, T, 'Il convento di Xorakert', Primo Simposio Internazionale di Arte Armena: Atti, (1978), 619-640.
2. I recall in revue etudes Armeniens something on a wonderful pagan temple somewhere in the forests of tavush (thierry?) anyone recall the name or location?

3. Ive seen some older high res photos of varzahan online showing inscriptions on walls - is it certain they had none?
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A.Schauer
A.Schauer

September 6th, 2015, 7:47 pm #6

Hi there,

ad 1) I don't have this one. The "atti" are really difficult to obtain. I just have a copy of the "Atti del quinto Simposio internazionale di arte armena. Venezia, Milano, Bologna, Firenze. 1988, 28 maggio - 5 giugno" which was published in 1992...

ad 2) I also haven't this one and do not remember having seen anything like that by Thierry in the REA. I do not know any well preserved pagan temple in Armenia besides the reconstructed one in Garni.

ad 3) The best photographs I know on the octogon of Varzahan are to be found in Walter Bachmanns "Kirchen und Moscheen in Armenien und Kurdistan". I checked my copy and did not find any inscriptions, neither in plates 41 - 43 nor in the pictures in the text. There he wrote explicitly that there are no inscriptions in Varzahan. Lynch provides just one photo and also tells nothing about inscriptions.

Sorry, this time I probably cannot help very much...

Regards,

A.Schauer
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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

September 8th, 2015, 3:46 pm #7

Maybe you mean the polygonal tower-shaped monument with a stone cupola near the village of Barekamavan in Tavush. It might be a pagan tomb monument that was later converted to a church.

Its "discovery" was announced in one of the Simposio Internazionale di Arte Armena volumes. However, I don't know which one (I have photocopies of the article but, being rushed at the time, I did not note down when copying it from which volume it came from), but it is on pages 225-229 of it. Maybe Mr Schauer can check if it is the volume he has.

I don't have anything from the 1978 first volume in the series though.

There are more recent accounts of this monument in other publications, but I don't keep very up to date with monuments in Armenia and can't off-hand give you the names of the publications. There might be something about it on the RAA website.

Someone needs to scan these obscure 1970s / 1980s symposium books and put them online somewhere - even though they are still in copyright I doubt any of their authors would object.

I also know of no inscriptions ever being found at Varzahan and there are no such photographs in the few published accounts. There probably are unpublished photos around, taken by travellers who just happened to pass by (there was one of Varzahan village on ebay a few years ago), and maybe unpublished photos by Lynch, and there are at least two postcards - but if there exist photos showing inscriptions on the churches, why are these inscriptions not mentioned by Bachmann? Unless they were on gravestones.
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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

September 8th, 2015, 4:41 pm #8

Hi there,

ad 1) I don't have this one. The "atti" are really difficult to obtain. I just have a copy of the "Atti del quinto Simposio internazionale di arte armena. Venezia, Milano, Bologna, Firenze. 1988, 28 maggio - 5 giugno" which was published in 1992...

ad 2) I also haven't this one and do not remember having seen anything like that by Thierry in the REA. I do not know any well preserved pagan temple in Armenia besides the reconstructed one in Garni.

ad 3) The best photographs I know on the octogon of Varzahan are to be found in Walter Bachmanns "Kirchen und Moscheen in Armenien und Kurdistan". I checked my copy and did not find any inscriptions, neither in plates 41 - 43 nor in the pictures in the text. There he wrote explicitly that there are no inscriptions in Varzahan. Lynch provides just one photo and also tells nothing about inscriptions.

Sorry, this time I probably cannot help very much...

Regards,

A.Schauer
And when in Bayburt he took photographs of the castle walls and their inscriptions.

http://www.bayburtpostasi.com.tr/dosya/ ... h9775.html

http://www.bayburtmedya.com/orbelinin-1 ... lenimleri/

I think it inconceivable that he did not also take pictures of the churches at Varzahan. But I know of no such published photographs. Do they still exist somewhere? Perhaps the unattributed photos used in the Varzahan postcards were by Orbeli?
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 10th, 2015, 1:14 am #9

Maybe you mean the polygonal tower-shaped monument with a stone cupola near the village of Barekamavan in Tavush. It might be a pagan tomb monument that was later converted to a church.

Its "discovery" was announced in one of the Simposio Internazionale di Arte Armena volumes. However, I don't know which one (I have photocopies of the article but, being rushed at the time, I did not note down when copying it from which volume it came from), but it is on pages 225-229 of it. Maybe Mr Schauer can check if it is the volume he has.

I don't have anything from the 1978 first volume in the series though.

There are more recent accounts of this monument in other publications, but I don't keep very up to date with monuments in Armenia and can't off-hand give you the names of the publications. There might be something about it on the RAA website.

Someone needs to scan these obscure 1970s / 1980s symposium books and put them online somewhere - even though they are still in copyright I doubt any of their authors would object.

I also know of no inscriptions ever being found at Varzahan and there are no such photographs in the few published accounts. There probably are unpublished photos around, taken by travellers who just happened to pass by (there was one of Varzahan village on ebay a few years ago), and maybe unpublished photos by Lynch, and there are at least two postcards - but if there exist photos showing inscriptions on the churches, why are these inscriptions not mentioned by Bachmann? Unless they were on gravestones.
The quote in the virtualani article mentions inscriptions, but I think I agree with you.
For whatever reason, I vividly remember seeing very high resolution photos

I think it was some archival site from UK, but I could be wrong.
On that note, some of Lynch images like this one of st karapet in super high resolution are on this page.
http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/im ... b5340.html


but, not that any of it matters.. as the site is so thoroughly destroyed..
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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

September 10th, 2015, 8:48 pm #10

Thank you for the Courtauld Institute's Lynch's photographs link. I had known of it, but the resolution of the photos has got higher since I last looked at it.

That photo of the Surp Karapet belltower (which is not in Lynch's book) is very revealing for the stone relief carvings on its facade. Left to right, first is a winged lion, then a winged human carrying a book with a cross on it, then an eagle, and finally a winged calf - these must be depicting the four evangelists. Below, framing the niches, are capitals in the form of twin dragon heads. A similar capital motif can still be found inside one of the surviving chambers of the monastery. In the five light coloured plaques at the top, the centre one looks like a bishop, or perhaps John the Baptist. The flanking plaques show angels with trumpets. The one of the far left seems to depict a baptism, or perhaps Adam and Eve.
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