09 April 2010

Article: Mural Paintings in Coptic Monasteries (2003)

Title: Mural Paintings in Coptic Monasteries: Problems of Dating and Conservation

Author: Karel Innemée

Reference: Living for Eternity: The White Monastery and its Neighborhood. Proceedings of a Symposium at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, March 6 – 9. 2003. Ed. Philip Sellew.
Download: http://egypt.cla.umn.edu/... (text pdf, 164 Kb)
http://egypt.cla.umn.edu/... (article with images, pdf, 18.5 Mb)

Egyptian churches preserve paintings from the first centuries of Christianity when Egypt was a leader in church affairs, as well as from later periods that show the continued vigor of Egyptian ("Coptic") Christianity long after the Arab conquest of Egypt. These paintings have often suffered from neglect, and paradoxically the current revival of monasticism and of pilgrimage sometimes creates conditions that further endangering them. This lecture will present the current achievements of the conservation project at Deir al-Suriani (the Monastery of the Syrians), discussing the problems of conservation, dating, and interpretation when there are several superimposed layers of painting. It will relate this situation to that in other sites, particularly the so-called Red Monastery in Upper Egypt.

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