Chapter

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

Maged S.A. Mikhail and Mark Moussa

in Christianity and Monasticism in Wadi al-Natrun

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162602
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970474 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774162602.003.0012
Art in the Wadi al-Natrun: An Assessment of the Earliest Wallpaintings in the Church of Abu Makar, Dayr Abu Makar

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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

Chapter.  8146 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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