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The Treasures of Coptic Art in the Coptic Museum and Churches of Old Cairo [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Treasures of Coptic Art in the Coptic Museum and Churches of Old Cairo by Gawdat Gabra, Marianne Eaton-Krauss, David J. Likosky, Steve Stephens, J. Richard Christman, Gregory Volk, Open University & B. Teissier...

Egypt's Coptic Church is one of the oldest in the world, with a cultural tradition dating back two millennia, during which time churches have been built and a variety of distinctive art forms have flourished. The world's largest and most exquisite collection of Coptic artifacts is now housed in the Coptic Museum, founded in Old Cairo in 1908. Here for the first time, in this lavishly illustrated book, more than one hundred of the greatest treasures of the Coptic Museum have been beautifully photographed to present an overview of this rich artistic heritage. Objects from churches and monasteries across Egypt include some of the finest examples of Coptic icons, stelae, sculptures, wall paintings, wooden altar screens, metal crosses, censers, liturgical implements and vestments, chandeliers, and bible caskets. Besides being objects of great craftsmanship and beauty, these artifacts, which range in date from the third to the nineteenth centuries, represent indispensable material for the study of the origins and development of Coptic art, as well as its relations with the ancient Egyptian, Byzantine, and Islamic traditions. Textiles, ceramics, terracotta, ivory and bone carvings, and documents (including the famous Nag Hammadi Gnostic library from the fourth century, one of the most valuable collections of papyri in the world) provide invaluable insights into the economic and social life of Egypt over the past two thousand years. In addition to objects from the Coptic Museum, this book also includes photographs of surrounding churches, some of Egypt's oldest, that illustrate the architectural legacy of the Copts. The accompanying text and captions provide a description of Coptic civilization in general and Coptic art in particular.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: AUC Press
Pages   283
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 9.75" Height: 13.5"
Weight:   5.12 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 30, 2007
Publisher   AUC Press
ISBN  977424933X  
ISBN13  9789774249334  

Availability  0 units.

More About Gawdat Gabra, Marianne Eaton-Krauss, David J. Likosky, Steve Stephens, J. Richard Christman, Gregory Volk, Open University & B. Teissier

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Gawdat Gabra is an independent scholar specializing in Coptic studies, and former director of the Coptic Museum in Cairo. He is the author or editor of numerous books related to the literary and material culture of Egyptian Christianity, including Coptic Monasteries: Egypt's Monastic Art and Architecture and Christian Egypt: Coptic Art and Monuments through Two Millennia (both AUC Press 2002). He is the co-editor of the three volumes of The Popes of Egypt (vol. I: AUC Press, 2004).

Gawdat Gabra has an academic affiliation as follows - Claremont Graduate University Clarement Graduate University Claremont.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Regional > Middle Eastern
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Religious
5Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Egypt > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > Egypt
7Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General
8Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Egypt
9Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Building Types & Styles > Religious Buildings

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ouotstanding overview of Coptic art with historical and cultural background  Jun 25, 2007
The most important museum in the world for Coptic antiquities, Egypt's Coptic Museum founded in Old Cairo in 1908 houses icons, stone pillars, textiles, incense burners, Bible containers, wall paintings, papyri, wooden altar screens, crosses, and church chandeliers, among other objects. Many of these are made from ivory and bone; and others from local and imported stone, paints, wood, fabrics, and other materials for religious, artistic, and cultural items of their period. A few surviving Coptic churches are also pictured to bring in to a limited degree Coptic architecture.

Over 130 of the assorted antiquities are pictured in clear color photographs of various scales, including many full page, allowing for appreciation and study of their details. For example, smaller pieces of jewelry are pictured close-up so that their carvings of figures and details of their features and clothing stand out. Parts of some textiles have close-ups where not only the woven figures and patterns can be viewed discretely, but their weaving is apparent. Text goes beyond just identifying the varied objects to treat theological inferences and implications as well as artistic and historical points of note. One image of Christ from about the seventh century "employs various devices" to render him "more approachable." Chief among these is the "halo around his head" calling to mind his particular holiness as a living person "[r]ather than representing him in a mandorla [a large oval halo frequenting enclosing a figure, from the Glossary], which would indicate his existence beyond time and space."

The work of coffee-table size, quality, and style offers a particularly handsome as well as a comprehensive portrayal of this distinctive, long-lasting religious art which reflects the pagan, Romanistic, and Middle Eastern cultures of its beginnings over two thousand years ago. Gabra is a former director of the Coptic Museum; Eaton-Krauss, a specialist in Egyptian art and archaeology.

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