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Armenian cross-stones (khachkars) are a bright and full phenomenon of artistic culture of the Middle Ages. Their history dates back to the Holy Cross arrows of Egypt of V - VII centuries, but in Armenia, cross-stones, in addition to great historical value, have embodied particularly rich, purely artistic content - a precious heritage of the Armenian monumental art of the late Medieval Age.
Khachkars in Armenia are everywhere; they can be associated with memorial pillars - monuments with relief images on Christian themes, varying with graphic clarity, rigor, and compactness of decor, which is fully observed even in plant ornaments, which is almost geometric.
XII - XIII centuries were the heyday of art cross-stone carving, they were placed everywhere and on various occasions, noting events and dates of economic, religious and political life.
Cross-stone carvers, in accordance with the material and the scale of their “chamber” pieces, transferred to them all the features of the famous architectural style. They thought of khachkars as works of “architectural miniature”.
Crosses with plant ornament, followed by the symbols of the sun and the moon; images of birds - these symbols of the Holy Spirit and immortality; reliefs of human figures and even racing horsemen – all this appears before an inquisitive researcher of Armenian cross-stones.
Cross-stone carvers were talented artists, virtuosos of their trade. Some of them are known to us by name, the outstanding masters of the XIII century were Timothy and Mkhitar, Momik and Vardan in the XIV century, Arakel and Melikset in the XVI century, Israel in the XVII century.
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