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The Four Portraits of Het‘um II: New Observations Regarding the Royal Portrait of the Lectionary of 1286

The Four Portraits of Het‘um II: New Observations Regarding the Royal Portrait of the Lectionary of 1286

Paper given by Emma Chookaszian

Delivered at the 2018 UCLA Colloquia in Armenian Studies on 2 February 2018

The subject of this paper is one of the most mysterious characters in the history of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia – King Het’um II. A king who was never crowned and became a Franciscan monk; never married and has been slandered by Armenian historians. Het’um was known to be a well-educated person who was also a connoisseur of art. Discussed here are the four portraits of Het’um, which represent the king in different ages. The portraits are preserved on different mediums: two of them on the pages of manuscripts, one on a 13th-century silver reliquary, and the last one as a mural on the walls of a Franciscan convent in Venice.

Emma Chookaszian received her PhD from Université Paul Valéry in France. She is a specialist of Armenian art and miniature painting.

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