Coptic art

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Coptic art,

Christian art in the upper Nile valley of Egypt. Reaching its mature phase in the late 5th and 6th cent., the development of Coptic art was interrupted by the Arab conquest of Egypt between 640 and 642. Its subsequent course was marked by the influence of Islamic artIslamic art and architecture,
works of art and architecture created in countries where Islam has been dominant and embodying Muslim precepts in its themes. Background

In the century after the death (A.D.
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 and a repetition of earlier forms. In contrast with the aristocratic taste prevailing in cosmopolitan Alexandria, which was in close touch with the leading artistic centers of the Roman Empire, older and deeply ingrained traditions remained in force in the upper Nile valley, where an intensely religious culture drew its following chiefly from the lower classes.

Coptic art is characterized by a high degree of stylization verging on abstraction. Forms are flattened out, and individual motifs acquire bold simplicity and decorative character. Subject matter represents both Christian and Roman sources. Remains of wall paintings reveal scenes from the Old and New Testaments and images of the Mother and Child. Some of the archaeological sites are El-Bagawat, Oxyrhynchus, Sakkara, Bawit, and Antinoë. Representative examples of Coptic art are in sculpture, textiles, ivory, and illumination. Coptic architecture, as shown in the 5th-century White and Red monasteries near Sohag, showed traces of local Egyptian traditions.


See K. Wessel, Coptic Art: The Early Christian Art of Egypt (1965) and D. L. Carroll, Looms and Textiles of the Copts (1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
Coptic art is known for its skilful simplicity, a theme readily realized in Farouk's work.
In doing so he seeks to correct misperceptions about anti-Hellenism and the pharonic revival, the myth of Volkskunst and the contribution of forgery to Coptic art history.
The exhibit feels like a progression from ancient Egyptian, to Greco-Roman, to Coptic art.
Abu Bakr said he gave them wings because in Coptic Art - his area of expertise - "wings are related to martyrs, saints and angels.
Among their topics are some aspects of volume eight of Shenoute's Canons, the role of the female elder in his White Monastery, the fate of the monastery's library, the epigraphic evidence for monks and scholars in the Panopolite Nome, liturgy, the wall niches as an examples of the monastery's sculptural heritage, Coptic art during the Ottoman period, and the Red Monastery Conservation Project in 2006 and 2007.
van Loon (research expert in Coptic Art and Archaeology).
Coptic art was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum in 1941, and in Essen, Germany in 1961, but the first exhibition to attract worldwide acclaim was held in Paris at the Institut du Monde Arabe in the year 2000.
Many early examples of Coptic art survived thanks to the dedication of Albert Gayet, a young archaeologist of the late 1800s, who unearthed long forgotten artefacts from excavations at the town of Antinoa, later to be known as the Egyptian Pompei.
Coptic art is often thought of as solely Christian.
This one is Mamluki design, the Mamluk people were originally from Eastern Europe; they blended Fattimid and Coptic art together in single pieces.
I would add, however, that the depiction of martyrs as riders pervades Coptic art also and may have more to do with the iconography of martyrs more generally.
Isaac Fanous, the founder of the school of modern Coptic painting and the initiator of the modern renaissance in Coptic art, and is considered one of the premier Coptic icon artists worldwide.