A full-length depiction of a male figure. Located to the left of the opening of the apse window.
Although Saint Gregory the Illuminator is recognised as establishing Christianity as the official religion in Armenia, Christianity initially entered Armenia from the south, from Syria, several centuries earlier. According to a later Armenian tradition, the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew travelled from Syria to the Vaspurakan (Lake Van) region where they baptised several members of the Artzruni dynasty. The medieval historian Thomas Artzruni wrote that when Thaddeus visited King Abgar of Edessa "the great Artzruni prince, Khuran ...was the first to believe in Jesus Christ and was baptised by Thaddeus". Because of this the Artzruni could claim to be the first Christian feudal family in Armenia. Both these saints were later martyred and their remains returned to Armenia.