Download An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Cairo: Yuhanna al-Armani and by Magdi Guirguis PDF

By Magdi Guirguis

Yuhanna al-Armani has lengthy been recognized by way of historians of Coptic artwork as an eighteenth-century Armenian icon painter who lived and labored in Ottoman Cairo. right here for the 1st time is an account of his existence that appears past his inventive creation to put him firmly within the social, political, and monetary milieu within 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 rather a lot call for for his paintings at that individual time? and the way did a member of Cairo's then particularly modest Armenian group achieve such heights of inventive and artistic pastime? Drawing on eighteenth-century deeds when it comes to al-Armani and different participants 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 while 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 background that may curiosity scholars and students of paintings historical past, Coptic reviews, or Ottoman history.

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Additional resources for An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Cairo: Yuhanna al-Armani and His Coptic Icons

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It was the demand for such works that created the artistic revival and the patronage of the new civilian elite that was financing these works. Thus, we can in fact date back the revival of icon-painting to the midseventeenth century, not the mid-eighteenth century. The local context of the Armenian community in Egypt can also be explored in relation to Armenian communities elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire. More of this will be discussed below. However, it is important to note that the Armenian community in Egypt enjoyed considerable autonomy in managing its own affairs, independent of the Armenian Church.

Our protagonist, Yuhanna al-Armani, too, was involved in these privately commissioned works, and painted icons that were to be placed in individual homes. One of these was of the highly venerated saint, Dumyana. This icon eventually ended up in the Mu‘allaqa, the Hanging Church in Old Cairo. ”58 Thus, the cultural trend that had started off to fulfill the strict needs of the church or the monastery came to expand as private demand sprang up for icons for home use. One could propose, on the basis of these facts, a couple of hypotheses.

As Ottoman subjects, ulama, scholars, students, pilgrims, merchants, and state officials moved freely within the empire. Icon-painters were, naturally, a minority among all those people, as the demand for their products was limited. indd 29 29 3/11/08 9:04:32 AM Since there were hardly any significant projects to build or restore churches and monasteries before the mid-seventeenth century, the demand for new icons was not high. When increasing numbers of churches were rebuilt and restored in the eighteenth century, iconpainters—Egyptians, Syrians, Turks, and Armenians—also increased.

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