Illuminating an Armenian Collection of Manuscripts
A Forgotten Treasure in the Layard Collection
In 1902 Enid Layard bequeathed four illuminated Armenian manuscripts, belonging to her late husband, to the Armenian Mekhitarist College of Venice and to the Correr Museum. This survey retraces the manuscripts’ earlier provenance and their arrival in the Venetian collections. Austen Henry Layard’s private papers and publications attest to a close relationship with the Armenian community, both in Constantinople and Venice. The aim of this paper is not only to show more fully the early reception of Armenian artworks in a Western context, but also to present a first study of these manuscripts by providing some comparisons.
Keywords: Henry Layard • Bequests and donations • 19th century • History of Collecting • Provenance