Chapter

Icon-painting in Eighteenth-century Egypt

Magdi Guirguis

in An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Cairo

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9789774161520
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617971013 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774161520.003.0003
Icon-painting in Eighteenth-century Egypt

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The eighteenth century witnessed a remarkable increase in the production of religious icons, so much so that most Egyptian churches and monasteries still house a considerable number of artworks dating from that century. This poses several important questions about the period, not least of which is why this phenomenon of production of religious icons developed when it did and what the circumstances were that encouraged this great production and artistic revival. This chapter argues that this phenomenon can best be understood as one manifestation of a period of artistic flourishing and cultural revival that began in the mid-seventeenth century and continued throughout most of the eighteenth century. The study of this trend can help in the understanding of certain changes taking place in Egyptian society as a whole, notably a trend toward the secularization of society.

Keywords: religious icons; Egyptian churches; monasteries; artistic revival; Egyptian society; secularization

Chapter.  7938 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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