Bas-relief presenting a hunting scene

The scene is carved on three separate slabs of the south façade of the church of Spitakavor (White Virgin).  On the left-hand slab, a young rider, armed with a bow, shoots an arrow at a deer.  The horse moves forward, and the rider is depicted turned towards the deer.  On the right-hand slab the wounded animal runs away, its head turned towards the hunter. The rider is clad in princely attire: a long coat embracing his sturdy body with a jeweled belt, and a princely ribbon strip on his arm.  The prince is bearded, and his curly hair comes down to his shoulders.  His headdress is spherical, wide-brimmed mitre, resembling that of prince Eachi, engraved on the Khotakerats reliquary of the Holy Cross.  The letters ԱՄՐ ՀՍ (AMR HS) inscribed on the two slabs above the rider’s shoulder, evidence that the figure represents Prince Amir Hasan of the Proshians, who erected the church. Among the scenes sculpted on Armenian cult buildings (Ptghni, Noravank and Aghtamar), this bas-relief stands out for a peculiar treatment of the traditional and canonic composition.  In contrast to the rivals’ confronted motion, seeking one direction and one point, here the sculptor moved the rivals away from each other and attained an unprecedented solution in the artistic expressiveness of collision through an identical reverse motion.

Collection : Archaeological collection

Exposition : Armenia in the 4th – 9th cc.

Period : Middle Ages

Era : early 14th century

Location : Vayots Dzor

Place : Church of Spitakavor (White Virgin)

Material : Stone

Inventar # : 1320-22