Vardges Sureniants (1860-1921)
“Queen Zabel’s return to the throne” (1909)
Oil on canvas
Zabel I (or Isabella I) (1216/1217-1252) was the queen regnant of Cilician Armenia (1219–1252).
“The lawful heiress of the empire, Isabella, governed the country together with her husband, and led a pious, religious life. She was blessed for her good deeds and exemplary life by many children, the numerous offsprings of a famous race.”
— Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia Minor
A knight, armed with the Christian virtues and bearing a shield emblazoned with the symbol of the Trinity (known as the Scutum Fidei or “Shield of Faith”), prepares to do battle with the seven deadly sins. In front of him are seven doves, representing the septem dona Spiritus Sancti (“seven gifts of the Holy Spirit”): these are sapientia (wisdom), intellectus (understanding), consilium (good counsel), fortitudo (courage), scientia (knowledge), timor Dei (fear of God), and pietas (piety). Illustration from the Summa de Virtutibus et Vitiis (Treatise on the Virtues and Vices) by William Peraldus, ca. 1255-1265. Now in the British Library.
Illustration called Trococie, A Headless Man with Eyes on His Shoulders, A Headless Man with a Face on His Chest, a Man with a Large Upper Lip from a bestiary by Hugo of Fouilloy and William of Conches, c. 1277.