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Christianity and Monasticism in Wadi al-NatrunEssays from the 2002 International Symposium of the Saint Mark Foundation and the Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society$
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Maged S.A. Mikhail and Mark Moussa

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162602

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162602.001.0001

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The Ornamental Repertoire in the Wallpaintings of Wadi al-Natrun: Remarks on a Methodical Approach*

The Ornamental Repertoire in the Wallpaintings of Wadi al-Natrun: Remarks on a Methodical Approach*

(p.185) The Ornamental Repertoire in the Wallpaintings of Wadi al-Natrun: Remarks on a Methodical Approach*
Christianity and Monasticism in Wadi al-Natrun

Maged S.A. Mikhail

Mark Moussa

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter introduces the author's systematic work in the cataloging of the motifs and ornaments found in the wall paintings of the region. The intention of the remarks made is to concentrate on the question about the necessary methodical bases for a collection, documentation, and analysis of the ornamental repertoire in Coptic art. When the author received the invitation to deliver a paper in Wadi al-Natrun symposium, it was a welcome occasion to look beyond the purple textiles and to turn to a genre whose knowledge and whose stock in the churches of the monasteries of Wadi al-Natrun is continually growing, thanks to the scientific research of the past thirty years until today. The substantial problems that occur relating to the aim to register the stock of ornamental motifs of a genre can be summarized in three points: the choice of a nomenclature for the ornamental motifs; the choice of a written catalogue system for the ornamental motifs; and the choice of an illustrated catalogue system for the visualization of the results concerning the ornamental repertoire. These three points are significantly discussed in detail.

Keywords:   Wadi al-Natrun, wall paintings, ornamental repertoire, monasteries, ornamental motifs, catalogue system

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