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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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Art in the Wadi al-Natrun: An Assessment of the Earliest Wallpaintings in the Church of Abu Makar, Dayr Abu Makar

Art in the Wadi al-Natrun: An Assessment of the Earliest Wallpaintings in the Church of Abu Makar, Dayr Abu Makar

Chapter:
(p.211) Art in the Wadi al-Natrun: An Assessment of the Earliest Wallpaintings in the Church of Abu Makar, Dayr Abu Makar
Source:
Christianity and Monasticism in Wadi al-Natrun
Author(s):

Maged S.A. Mikhail

Mark Moussa

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774162602.003.0012

This chapter provides a general introduction to the author's work on the art in the Church of St. Macarius. In particular, it considers the wallpainting in the south haykal of the principal church of St. Macarius at Dayr Abu Makar. It proposes to redress the balance by considering the paintings, uncovered a quarter of a century ago, in the light of the historical, archaeological, and art historical evidence. During the process, it raises questions for further architectural and archaeological study. A brief survey of the early building history of the Church of Saint Macarius at Dayr Abu Makar is shown. In addition, the layers of wallpainting along the north wall of the sanctuary are described with reference to the plan, from the lowest layer upwards. The painting on the north wall seemingly predates that of the steps in the south chapel. Study of the early wallpaintings draws attention to a vital and virtually ignored aspect of the church's decoration, also of interest in themselves as reflecting Egypt's monastic tradition through the prism of secular art.

Keywords:   Wadi al-Natrun, Church of Saint Macarius, Dayr Abu Makar, wallpaintings, south haykal, building history, Egypt

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