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Ani Multicultural Milieu and New Trends in Armenian Architecture during Queen Tamar's Period

Abstract : The strengthening of the Georgian kingdom under Queen Tamar’s reign at the end of the 12th century, and the rallying of the Armenian forces around her crown created favorable conditions for the development of Armenian art in relation, notably, with that of Georgia during the thirty-seven years that lasted the Georgian period of Ani’s history (1199-1236), before the Mongol occupation.The article examines the architectural and decorative traits of some monuments of the former Armenian capital that may have resulted from the integration of the Armenian regions into the Georgian kingdom. But it appears that the “Georgianizing” elements are much less numerous than the “Islamizing” ones, which are widely present in Ani, as well as in the whole of Armenia. More diverse is the picture in the monasteries of northeastern Armenia, where Chalcedonian (Orthodox) communities settled down. Several architectural and decorative compositions, and some ornamental motifs were probably borrowed from Georgia. In almost all the cases, both traditions are variously combined, with more Georgian traits in one case, more Armenian ones in the other. In the non-Chalcedonian Armenian space also, borrowings from the Georgian decorative repertoire can be found on the façades of 13th century churches. They reveal an attitude of permeability to foreign forms, characteristic for Armenian art of this period, both in northeastern Armenia and in Cilicia. The article also evokes a group of brick-built monasteries, present in both countries, which seem to constitute an enigmatic transnational phenomenon.
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Patrick Donabédian. Ani Multicultural Milieu and New Trends in Armenian Architecture during Queen Tamar's Period. Ani at the Crossroads. International Conference, Tbilissi, Université d’Etat I. Javakhishvili, 17-18 novembre 2017, Université d'Etat Ivane Javakhishvili, Nov 2017, Tbilisi, Georgia. pp.121-152. ⟨halshs-02904993⟩

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