Skip to comments.Armenia's Artistic Bridge From East To West
Posted on 04/28/2007 3:11:50 PM PDT by blam
Armenia's artistic bridge from East to West
By Souren Melikian
Published: April 27, 2007
A fragment of a capital from Dvin, 5th or 6th century.
PARIS: It is not easy to display the art of a major culture left in tatters by organized physical destruction over centuries that reduced its territory to a tiny fraction of its historical dimension. What mostly survives is the art of religion, the hard-core to which the persecuted cling and carry away if portable. Otherwise it is fragments collected from ruins. Hence the title of the Armenian art show on view at the Louvre until May 21 - "Armenia Sacra."
The exhibition book is as much about history as about art, a necessity when introducing a culture known to few other than specialists.
It might have been worth mentioning that Armenia had a very long past when King Tiridate made it the first country where Christianity was declared the state religion around 313, when Byzantium only made its worship permissible.
The origins of Armenia are steeped in mystery. How the Armenians, whose language is Indo-European, substituted themselves for the non-Indo-European inhabitants of the preceding kingdom of Urartu around the 7th century B.C. is unexplained. If there was a fusion of two groups, history says nothing about it.
Armenia was included in the empire founded by the Persian Achaemenid dynasty in the mid-6th century B.C. and from the beginning had close links to Iranian culture while maintaining an utterly different identity. Some magnificent silver wine horns in Achaemenid style, excavated in Armenia after World War II, are usually described as Iranian and yet they can be seen at a glance to be aesthetically different from the vessels excavated in Iran. This Iranian connection persisted through time. Linguists say that well over a third
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
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