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Watching Them Watching Us: Learning to Look at the Earliest Monastic Portraits from Late Antique Egypt


Visiting Research Scholar Lecture

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Watching Them Watching Us: Learning to Look at the Earliest Monastic Portraits from Late Antique Egypt
25 February 2014, 06:00 PM
2nd Floor Lecture Hall
Lecture Event
Thelma Thomas (ISAW & IFA)
image title

Coptic Museum 7118. Painted prayer niche from Room 6, Monastery of Apa Apollo.  Later 6th to 7th century.  Photograph courtesy of Heather Badamo

The earliest monastic portraits from Late Antique Egypt represent elders as exemplars of ascetic life who have taken their places among the saints in heavenly paradise.  Their portraits depict them watching their charges intently and ready to intercede on behalf of those on earth who strive to join them.  This presentation explores some of the ways in which devout monks looking back at these portraits might initiate and sustain a shared regard as part of their transformative ascetic work.

This lecture is sponsored by The Achelis Foundation.

NOTICE: Admission to the ISAW Lecture Hall closes 10 minutes after the scheduled start time.

Reception to follow

Event is open to the public