These two versions, which are compositionally coherent with the designing device of the IV-XI century portals, became the basis for a new type of a portal, consisted of a shallow vaulted entrance bay and a right-angled frame platband enveloping the bay. This type has been used with its 3 versions during XIII-XIV centuries:
1. With wide flatness of decorated stone tiles or its imitation between the vaulted frame and platband.
2. With stepped-form frame.
3. With double entrance bays.
At the end of the XII century a new type of a portal has come into use, and as a matter of principle, it repeated the diagram of building of the portals with right-angled platbands, but all the same, differed from it. The important peculiarity of this portal is that here the portal occupies the whole flatness of the facade both in hight and width. The designing of the flatness of the facade is carried out by means arranging the two portals one above the other. The appearance of this aperture signified the birth of a new stage of designing the facade, when the system of portal architecture was put together.
At the end of the XIII century a new type of a portal appeared. Its distinctive peculiarity is the deep entrance bay with stalactite ceiling. This type of portal bears the influence of Moslem architecture. However, architects here again displayed a great art of transformation, creating unique and various versions of stone stalactite ceiling. Despite of the variety of design aperture, this type of portal wasn’t widely used. Apparently, the compositional aperture, taken from the Moslem architecture, was alien to the firm traditions of Armenian architecture.
Together with the exposure of principles of development of the portals in IV-XIV centuries and the classification to types and versions, in this section it is given the analysis of the evolutional development of the entrance from the flatness of the wall to the lintel of the doorway.
The mounting of the doorway sides is the starting factor defining the type of the portal, and in its turn, with all its numerous versions, is subordinate to one single principle and to a single diagram of construction. The chronical systems of the entrance from the flatness of the wall to the lintel of the doorway are divided into six principle groups.
The second part of the research is devoted to the device for mounting the portals. It consists of three sections:
a) The characteristic role of the ornament.
b) Stone collections.
c) Relief representations in mounting the portals.
In order to define the significance of the ornament in the Armenian medieval architecture it is necessary to take into consideration that the Armenian Apostolic Church sharply limited the use of relief representations with plots and frescos. In consequence of this, we are witness of the violent growth just of the architctural ornament which occupies exceptionally an important place in the Armenian medieval architecture. The changes in contents and diagrams of ornamental constructions were stipulated by the changes in public life, by religious ideas, as well as the growth of aesthetic needs. The typical features of the formation and development of the ornament can be seen in the mounting of the portals, where the ornament has found a wide use.
In the IV-V centuries ornamental decoration of of the portals it is observed the archaic character both in the motif and in the composition of construction.
In the VII century the composition of the construction of the ornament is changed. The ornament with the same type of elements, where the number of component elements depends on the dimentions of ornamental details, yields to the ornament, where the basis of its composition forms the components, bound to each other, with a limited dimention of ornamental stripe, having beginning and end.
The architectural ornament of this age is defined by its exceptional diversity, which can be observed on the monuments researched by us.
The basic principles of the development of Armenian architecture in IX-XI centuries, with predominating tendencies over the subsequent development of forms and details if previous ages, left also an imprint on the ornamental device of decoration using the design. In this period both in the compositional diagram of constructing portals and in their ornamental decoration we find both elements of the age of Armenian Hellenism and of the early Middle Ages.
More attention is paid to the ornamental decoration of the portals of XII-XIV centuries architectural design than before. The typical peculiarity of designing the portals of this age is the wide use plant and geometric ornament, frequently in the general composition. At the same time, the architectural ornament in this age is characterized by the diversity of motifs in the diagrams of construction.
The geometric ornament of XII-XIV centuries was developed in two versions; band diagrams and net diagrams. The line or band composition is based on the diagram of parallel guides and presents itself as a developed version of early Middle Ages ornament, having on its base a row formed of elements of the same type.
The net composition is based on crossing lines diagram and is the result of the development of the band composition.
On the basis of XII-XIII century net composition, its advantage is in the possibility of creating endless patterns, multicoloured stone collections were used in the form of double coloured laying-out. The multicoloured stone sets, as well as their imitiations, played an important role for the development of Armenian geometric ornament.
On the basis of net composition, at the end of the XII and at the beginning of the XIII centuries a new architectural-decorative device of mounting was created in the Armenian architecture for decorating the monuments; a set of stones with different geometric forms and colours; mosaic with coloured stones.
At the same time the imitation of the sets was created for designing the portals, carried out on two levels with supplementary tint. The imitation represents itself as a simplified form of designing.
The stone sets, according to the diagram of construction, pertain to the geometric ornaments and are built with ordinary sets.
Parallel with the ornaments and stone sets, relief representations are widely used for decorating the portals. The art of sculpture for decorating the portals is displayed in the form of relief; bas-relief and high-relief. According to their settings, relief representations with plots were secular, religious and symbolic-mythological stages.
The third part of the research is devoted to the analysis of constructive peculiarities of the doorway ceiling in chronological succession.
The fourth part of the research is devoted to the classification of tympanums. According to their shapes, the arches of the above mentioned period are divided into two groups; half-circular and double-centred.
According to the constructive diagram of the arched completion, the tympanums are subdivided into six types.
Special attention is paid to the decoration of the portals in the Armenian monumental architecture and it is justified by its important role in designing the construction. The result of this is that, in spite of its few types, there isn’t any single example of direct imitation; in each portal there is something new.
The portal, as an element of architectural ornament, didn’t lose its significance and found a wide use in modern architecture.
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