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Christianity and Monasticism in Upper EgyptVolume 1: Akhmim and Sohag$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany N. Takla

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789774161223

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774161223.001.0001

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Toward an Understanding of the ‘Akhmim Style’ Icons and Ciboria

Toward an Understanding of the ‘Akhmim Style’ Icons and Ciboria

The Indigenous and the Foreign1

Chapter:
(p.269) 23 Toward an Understanding of the ‘Akhmim Style’ Icons and Ciboria
Source:
Christianity and Monasticism in Upper Egypt
Author(s):

Gawdat Gabra

Hany N. Takla

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774161223.003.0023

The Akhmim ciboria and icons with saints displaying rosaries fit into the period between the inimitable Mattary and the sophisticated Ibrahim al-Nasih, who worked between the 1740s and 1780. It is art of a theological and artistic revival, of ecumenism but also of provincial restraint, and lacking major artists. Without documents this attribution remains preliminary. New discoveries in the illustrated and dated Coptic-Arabic manuscripts from the Akhmim region, presented by Father Bigoul al-Suriany in this volume, will expand our knowledge. The meaning of the rosary as the symbol of the Coptic Catholic faith or as a sign of modernity has to be further researched. Christians in Upper Egypt cling to their traditions. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the modest Akhmim figurative art from the Beylik-Mamluk and missionary eras are those details that are loaned from late antique and early Coptic art in the Thebaide. Used more than a millennium later on hybrid Coptic-Arabic icons, these local attributes and gestures again demonstrate the remarkable survival of indigenous iconography.

Keywords:   Akhmim ciboria, icons, rosary, Coptic art, Upper Egypt, Thebaide

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