- Nonna S. Stepanyan
Armenian illuminator. He worked in the kingdom of Cilicia at Hṙomklay, the seat of the Armenian patriarchate. His patrons were King Het‘um I of Lambron (reg 1226–69) and the Katholikos Constantine I (reg 1221–67), whose scriptorium he apparently headed. His richly decorated manuscripts reflect Byzantine, Western and even Chinese models. There are seven known signed manuscripts by T‘oros Ṙoslin: the Gospels of Zeyt‘oun (1256; Istanbul, Armen. Patriarch., Treasury), the Gospels of 1260 (Jerusalem, Armen. Patriarch., MS. 251), a set of Gospels of 1262 (Baltimore, MD, Walters A.G., MS. 539), a further set of 1262, a set of 1265, a prayer-book of 1266 (all Jerusalem, Armen. Patriarch., MSS 2660, 1956 and 2027) and the Gospels of 1268 (Erevan, Matenadaran Inst. Anc. Armen. MSS, MS. 10675).
Although T‘oros Ṙoslin worked within the Cilician school of manuscript illumination, his choice of ornament for the initial letters, margins of the text, headpieces, canon tables and figural scenes was more eclectic. His compositions show a careful observation of contemporary life, for although the main figures are frequently shown in classicizing draperies, the other figures are in contemporary clothing; their faces and gestures are all expressive and carefully executed. He was able to present a religious story in a realistic and dramatic manner without impairing its primary didactic function, as in the ...