Tag Archives: Saint

Edinburgh. Saint Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, looking East

Edinburgh. Saint Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, looking East
Jesus Christ Church
Image by Cornell University Library
Collection: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library
Accession Number: 15/5/3090.01245

Title: Edinburgh. Saint Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, looking East

Photographer: George Washington Wilson (Scottish, 1823-1893)
Architect: Sir George Gilbert Scott (English, 1811-1878)

Building Date: 1874-1879
Photograph date: ca. 1865-ca. 1885

Location: Europe: United Kingdom; Edinburgh

Materials: albumen print

Image: 11 5/8 x 7 5/8 in.; 29.5275 x 19.3675 cm

Style: Gothic Revival

Provenance: Gift of Andrew Dickson White

Persistent URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1813.001/5tdq

There are no known copyright restrictions on this image. The digital file is owned by the Cornell University Library which is making it freely available with the request that, when possible, the Library be credited as its source.

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Vandalized frescoes, Church of Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, Ani, SE Turkey

Vandalized frescoes, Church of Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, Ani, SE Turkey
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
‘In the year 664 (A.D. 1215), by the grace of God, when the lord of this city of Ani was the strong and powerful Zakaria … I, Tigran, servant of God, son of Sulem Smbatorents, of the Honents family, for the long life of my lords and of their children, built this monastery of St. Grigor, which was on the edge of an escarpment and in a place full of underbrush, and I bought it with my legitimate wealth from the owners and with great fatigue and expense, I provided it with defense all around; I built this church in the name of St. Grigor Lusavoritch and I embelished it with many decorations…’
– Inscription on the eastern wall of this church
The inscription quoted above reveals that this church was commissioned by a wealthy merchant named Tigran Honents, and completed in the year 1215. As well as paying for its construction he provided it with many precious objects, including crosses, lamps, gold and silver vessels, and religious relics.
At that time Ani was under Georgian control – and this church is believed to have been devoted to the Georgian Orthodox Rite (and the frescoes within are thought to have been painted by Georgian artisans).
Design Analysis
From the outside, the domed rectangular design resembles the cathedral – but on a smaller scale. The interior plan is different and is similar to other churches from this later medieval period. It is of a type sometimes classed as a ‘domed hall’ – a single nave partitioned into three sections with a dome over the central section.
The heightened vertical proportions of this church (especially noticeable in its interior and in the steeply pitched conical roof over the dome) are also characteristic of this period.
A blind arcade runs around all four sides of the church. Ornate carvings (of animals – real and imaginary – set amid scrolling vegetation) fill the spandrels between the arcades. These form a decorative band that wraps around the whole building. A similar arcade and decorative band runs around the drum – above which runs a second band of geometric fretwork (again typical of 13th century churches).
In front of the church stands a narthex of a slightly later date, now very ruined. It was open on two sides and incorporated a chapel along its northern edge. The arched openings of the narthex were articulated with powerfully carved zigzag moulding, and rested on capitals similar to contemporary Muslim buildings.
The interior of this narthex (including the facade of the church) was covered in frescoes – a publicly ostentatious display at odds with the stern austerity of Ani’s earlier buildings, and not particularly appropriate given the city’s precarious economic and political condition in the 13th century.
Tigran Honentz was a member of one of several extremely wealthy merchant families that had amassed enormous riches (mostly through trade) and self-styled themselves "Barons". Although wealthy, they ultimately had little political and no military power to sustain their position – or Ani’s.
The Frescoes
The interior is entirely covered with frescoes of the same date as the church. They have two main themes – the Life of Christ and the Life of Saint Gregory the Illuminator (to whom the church was dedicated).
The dome contains a damaged depiction of the Ascension in the form of a bust of Christ carried by four angels, underneath which are shown Mary and the twelve Apostles.
The eastern half of the church contains scenes from the life of Christ – including the Annunciation; the Nativity; the entrance to Jerusalem; the raising of Lazarus; etc.
In the semidome of the apse is a figure of Christ, below this is a depiction of Christ in Communion with his Apostles, below this again is a row of bishops or prophets (these have been recently destroyed by whitewash).
The western chamber of the church contains 16 scenes from the life of Saint Gregory the Illuminator – including his trial before king Trdat; the various tortures inflicted upon him (including his imprisonment in a pit); the martyrdom of St. Hripsime; the baptism of King Trdat and the kings of Georgia, Abkhazia, and Caucasian Albania; etc.
Above the door to the chapel south of the apse is an unusual panel containing motifs that evoke silk textile designs of that time. Four linked medallions each enclose a simurgh, a mythical lion-headed bird from Persian legend.
As mentioned earlier, the narthex also contained frescoes – these are mostly now destroyed or badly damaged due to weathering. They are from a slightly later period than those in the church, and are different in style, having a finer and more Byzantine character to them. On the exterior wall of the church, above and to the right of the entrance, is a depiction of the Crucifixion. The Lamentation of Mary is depicted on the other side.
On the north wall of the narthex is a now very faded image of Paradise, with Isaac, Jacob, Abraham, Mary, Adam, and a Tetramorph creature guarding the Gate of Heaven. There are also figures of saints or prophets on the underside of the arches.
Recent Damage to the Frescoes
The defacing of faces in the frescoes by Muslims objecting to the depiction of images is predictable. The more accessible paintings have also been heavily damaged in recent years by tourist graffiti (both Turkish and foreign).
However the most serious damage is of a bizarre sort. In an effort to hide the graffiti damage, large areas of the frescoes have been covered in whitewash! The frescoes on the northern wall of the church were particularly badly damaged by graffiti (including a large CND symbol hacked into the plaster). To ‘tidy’ this section up the entire lower registry of paintings has simply been chipped off.
This damage occurred in the early 1990s – during the period of professor Beyhan Karamağaralı’s excavations – and must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to accomplish. It could not have been done without the use of scaffolding or ladders, and must have been officially sanctioned.

Vandalized frescoes, Church of Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, Ani, SE Turkey

Vandalized frescoes, Church of Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, Ani, SE Turkey
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
‘In the year 664 (A.D. 1215), by the grace of God, when the lord of this city of Ani was the strong and powerful Zakaria … I, Tigran, servant of God, son of Sulem Smbatorents, of the Honents family, for the long life of my lords and of their children, built this monastery of St. Grigor, which was on the edge of an escarpment and in a place full of underbrush, and I bought it with my legitimate wealth from the owners and with great fatigue and expense, I provided it with defense all around; I built this church in the name of St. Grigor Lusavoritch and I embelished it with many decorations…’
– Inscription on the eastern wall of this church
The inscription quoted above reveals that this church was commissioned by a wealthy merchant named Tigran Honents, and completed in the year 1215. As well as paying for its construction he provided it with many precious objects, including crosses, lamps, gold and silver vessels, and religious relics.
At that time Ani was under Georgian control – and this church is believed to have been devoted to the Georgian Orthodox Rite (and the frescoes within are thought to have been painted by Georgian artisans).
Design Analysis
From the outside, the domed rectangular design resembles the cathedral – but on a smaller scale. The interior plan is different and is similar to other churches from this later medieval period. It is of a type sometimes classed as a ‘domed hall’ – a single nave partitioned into three sections with a dome over the central section.
The heightened vertical proportions of this church (especially noticeable in its interior and in the steeply pitched conical roof over the dome) are also characteristic of this period.
A blind arcade runs around all four sides of the church. Ornate carvings (of animals – real and imaginary – set amid scrolling vegetation) fill the spandrels between the arcades. These form a decorative band that wraps around the whole building. A similar arcade and decorative band runs around the drum – above which runs a second band of geometric fretwork (again typical of 13th century churches).
In front of the church stands a narthex of a slightly later date, now very ruined. It was open on two sides and incorporated a chapel along its northern edge. The arched openings of the narthex were articulated with powerfully carved zigzag moulding, and rested on capitals similar to contemporary Muslim buildings.
The interior of this narthex (including the facade of the church) was covered in frescoes – a publicly ostentatious display at odds with the stern austerity of Ani’s earlier buildings, and not particularly appropriate given the city’s precarious economic and political condition in the 13th century.
Tigran Honentz was a member of one of several extremely wealthy merchant families that had amassed enormous riches (mostly through trade) and self-styled themselves "Barons". Although wealthy, they ultimately had little political and no military power to sustain their position – or Ani’s.
The Frescoes
The interior is entirely covered with frescoes of the same date as the church. They have two main themes – the Life of Christ and the Life of Saint Gregory the Illuminator (to whom the church was dedicated).
The dome contains a damaged depiction of the Ascension in the form of a bust of Christ carried by four angels, underneath which are shown Mary and the twelve Apostles.
The eastern half of the church contains scenes from the life of Christ – including the Annunciation; the Nativity; the entrance to Jerusalem; the raising of Lazarus; etc.
In the semidome of the apse is a figure of Christ, below this is a depiction of Christ in Communion with his Apostles, below this again is a row of bishops or prophets (these have been recently destroyed by whitewash).
The western chamber of the church contains 16 scenes from the life of Saint Gregory the Illuminator – including his trial before king Trdat; the various tortures inflicted upon him (including his imprisonment in a pit); the martyrdom of St. Hripsime; the baptism of King Trdat and the kings of Georgia, Abkhazia, and Caucasian Albania; etc.
Above the door to the chapel south of the apse is an unusual panel containing motifs that evoke silk textile designs of that time. Four linked medallions each enclose a simurgh, a mythical lion-headed bird from Persian legend.
As mentioned earlier, the narthex also contained frescoes – these are mostly now destroyed or badly damaged due to weathering. They are from a slightly later period than those in the church, and are different in style, having a finer and more Byzantine character to them. On the exterior wall of the church, above and to the right of the entrance, is a depiction of the Crucifixion. The Lamentation of Mary is depicted on the other side.
On the north wall of the narthex is a now very faded image of Paradise, with Isaac, Jacob, Abraham, Mary, Adam, and a Tetramorph creature guarding the Gate of Heaven. There are also figures of saints or prophets on the underside of the arches.
Recent Damage to the Frescoes
The defacing of faces in the frescoes by Muslims objecting to the depiction of images is predictable. The more accessible paintings have also been heavily damaged in recent years by tourist graffiti (both Turkish and foreign).
However the most serious damage is of a bizarre sort. In an effort to hide the graffiti damage, large areas of the frescoes have been covered in whitewash! The frescoes on the northern wall of the church were particularly badly damaged by graffiti (including a large CND symbol hacked into the plaster). To ‘tidy’ this section up the entire lower registry of paintings has simply been chipped off.
This damage occurred in the early 1990s – during the period of professor Beyhan Karamağaralı’s excavations – and must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to accomplish. It could not have been done without the use of scaffolding or ladders, and must have been officially sanctioned.

Plan, Church of Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, Ani, SE Turkey

Plan, Church of Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, Ani, SE Turkey
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
‘In the year 664 (A.D. 1215), by the grace of God, when the lord of this city of Ani was the strong and powerful Zakaria … I, Tigran, servant of God, son of Sulem Smbatorents, of the Honents family, for the long life of my lords and of their children, built this monastery of St. Grigor, which was on the edge of an escarpment and in a place full of underbrush, and I bought it with my legitimate wealth from the owners and with great fatigue and expense, I provided it with defense all around; I built this church in the name of St. Grigor Lusavoritch and I embelished it with many decorations…’
– Inscription on the eastern wall of this church
The inscription quoted above reveals that this church was commissioned by a wealthy merchant named Tigran Honents, and completed in the year 1215. As well as paying for its construction he provided it with many precious objects, including crosses, lamps, gold and silver vessels, and religious relics.
At that time Ani was under Georgian control – and this church is believed to have been devoted to the Georgian Orthodox Rite (and the frescoes within are thought to have been painted by Georgian artisans).
Design Analysis
From the outside, the domed rectangular design resembles the cathedral – but on a smaller scale. The interior plan is different and is similar to other churches from this later medieval period. It is of a type sometimes classed as a ‘domed hall’ – a single nave partitioned into three sections with a dome over the central section.
The heightened vertical proportions of this church (especially noticeable in its interior and in the steeply pitched conical roof over the dome) are also characteristic of this period.
A blind arcade runs around all four sides of the church. Ornate carvings (of animals – real and imaginary – set amid scrolling vegetation) fill the spandrels between the arcades. These form a decorative band that wraps around the whole building. A similar arcade and decorative band runs around the drum – above which runs a second band of geometric fretwork (again typical of 13th century churches).
In front of the church stands a narthex of a slightly later date, now very ruined. It was open on two sides and incorporated a chapel along its northern edge. The arched openings of the narthex were articulated with powerfully carved zigzag moulding, and rested on capitals similar to contemporary Muslim buildings.
The interior of this narthex (including the facade of the church) was covered in frescoes – a publicly ostentatious display at odds with the stern austerity of Ani’s earlier buildings, and not particularly appropriate given the city’s precarious economic and political condition in the 13th century.
Tigran Honentz was a member of one of several extremely wealthy merchant families that had amassed enormous riches (mostly through trade) and self-styled themselves "Barons". Although wealthy, they ultimately had little political and no military power to sustain their position – or Ani’s.
The Frescoes
The interior is entirely covered with frescoes of the same date as the church. They have two main themes – the Life of Christ and the Life of Saint Gregory the Illuminator (to whom the church was dedicated).
The dome contains a damaged depiction of the Ascension in the form of a bust of Christ carried by four angels, underneath which are shown Mary and the twelve Apostles.
The eastern half of the church contains scenes from the life of Christ – including the Annunciation; the Nativity; the entrance to Jerusalem; the raising of Lazarus; etc.
In the semidome of the apse is a figure of Christ, below this is a depiction of Christ in Communion with his Apostles, below this again is a row of bishops or prophets (these have been recently destroyed by whitewash).
The western chamber of the church contains 16 scenes from the life of Saint Gregory the Illuminator – including his trial before king Trdat; the various tortures inflicted upon him (including his imprisonment in a pit); the martyrdom of St. Hripsime; the baptism of King Trdat and the kings of Georgia, Abkhazia, and Caucasian Albania; etc.
Above the door to the chapel south of the apse is an unusual panel containing motifs that evoke silk textile designs of that time. Four linked medallions each enclose a simurgh, a mythical lion-headed bird from Persian legend.
As mentioned earlier, the narthex also contained frescoes – these are mostly now destroyed or badly damaged due to weathering. They are from a slightly later period than those in the church, and are different in style, having a finer and more Byzantine character to them. On the exterior wall of the church, above and to the right of the entrance, is a depiction of the Crucifixion. The Lamentation of Mary is depicted on the other side.
On the north wall of the narthex is a now very faded image of Paradise, with Isaac, Jacob, Abraham, Mary, Adam, and a Tetramorph creature guarding the Gate of Heaven. There are also figures of saints or prophets on the underside of the arches.
Recent Damage to the Frescoes
The defacing of faces in the frescoes by Muslims objecting to the depiction of images is predictable. The more accessible paintings have also been heavily damaged in recent years by tourist graffiti (both Turkish and foreign).
However the most serious damage is of a bizarre sort. In an effort to hide the graffiti damage, large areas of the frescoes have been covered in whitewash! The frescoes on the northern wall of the church were particularly badly damaged by graffiti (including a large CND symbol hacked into the plaster). To ‘tidy’ this section up the entire lower registry of paintings has simply been chipped off.
This damage occurred in the early 1990s – during the period of professor Beyhan Karamağaralı’s excavations – and must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to accomplish. It could not have been done without the use of scaffolding or ladders, and must have been officially sanctioned.

Khachkar, early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia

Khachkar, early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.

Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1867 | 120905-9700-jikatu

Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1867 | 120905-9700-jikatu
Indianapolis churches
Image by jikatu
Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SL-II Aspherical Manual Focus Lens
Focal Length: 20 mm
Exposure: ¹⁄₅₀ sec at f/8.0
ISO: 250