By Magdi Guirguis
Yuhanna al-Armani has lengthy been identified by means of historians of Coptic artwork as an eighteenth-century Armenian icon painter who lived and labored in Ottoman Cairo. the following for the 1st time is an account of his lifestyles that appears past his inventive creation to put him firmly within the social, political, and monetary milieu during which he moved and the confluence of pursuits that allowed him to flourish as a painter.
Who used to be Yuhanna al-Armani? What was once his community of relationships? How does this make clear the contacts among Cairo's Coptic and Armenian groups within the eighteenth century? Why used to be there loads call for for his paintings at that individual time? and the way did a member of Cairo's then particularly modest Armenian group succeed in such heights of creative and inventive activity? Drawing on eighteenth-century deeds on the subject of al-Armani and different individuals of his social community recorded within the registers of the Ottoman courts, Magdi Guirguis deals a desirable glimpse into the methods of lifetime of city dwellers in eighteenth-century Cairo, at a time whilst a civilian elite had reached a excessive point of prominence and wealth. Illustrated with 28 full-color reproductions of al-Armani's icons, An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Egypt is a wealthy and compelling window on Cairene social historical past that might curiosity scholars and students of artwork historical past, Coptic experiences, or Ottoman history.
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Extra resources for An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Cairo: Yuhanna al-Armani and His Coptic Icons
The theological and religious positions of a church had an impact on its iconography and constituted a barrier that could restrict potential inﬂuence from other churches. Every church, for instance, has its own local saints and its own traditions of representing them. The collective memory of the Coptic Church includes a large number of saints who were martyred as they defended their faith in the face of another Church, that of the Holy Roman Empire. The Coptic Church has always tried to maintain its distinct culture and creed, independent of other churches and especially of the Chalcedonian churches.
On the assumption that Yuhanna al-Armani was born and raised in Jerusalem, scholars have argued that his work provided a link with artistic traditions of Syria and Palestine, and it helped to diffuse them in Egypt. The artistic traditions of Syria and Palestine were themselves inﬂuenced by Western artistic traditions. The churches of Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria) were, moreover, permeated not only by Byzantine inﬂuence, but by close and continual contacts with the Western Church. 14 Other scholars argue for the importance of Byzantine inﬂuences on Yuhanna’s art, suggesting an alternative channel for its transmission.
There were signiﬁcant religious and theological differences between the various Christian sects and churches. The theological and religious positions of a church had an impact on its iconography and constituted a barrier that could restrict potential inﬂuence from other churches. Every church, for instance, has its own local saints and its own traditions of representing them. The collective memory of the Coptic Church includes a large number of saints who were martyred as they defended their faith in the face of another Church, that of the Holy Roman Empire.
An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Cairo: Yuhanna al-Armani and His Coptic Icons by Magdi Guirguis