Online Lecture: ‘The Red Monastery Church (Upper Egypt): Its Significance and Conservation’ with Elizabeth S. Bolman, 10 November 2020, 7:00 pm (Greece)

The Red Monastery Church (Upper Egypt): Its Significance and Conservation, webinar with Elizabeth S. Bolman (Case Western Reserve University), American School of Classical Studies at Athens via Zoom, November 10, 2020, 7:00 pm (Greece)/12:00 pm (EDT)

The remarkable Red Monastery Church, located in the Egyptian desert, surprises us. It is not in a city, or even near one. What is it doing, in its isolated environment? The church is a monumental basilica with an elaborate tri-lobed sanctuary, which belongs to a tradition of elite urban architecture. The interior of the eastern end includes the best preserved example of architectural polychromy in paint – tempera and encaustic on architectural elements – that survives on a large scale from the Greek, Roman and early Byzantine periods. This talk will elucidate the significance of the monument and its location, and use it as a means of exploring how we think about the creation of culture in the early Byzantine world. The remarkable conservation project that took well over a decade will also be discussed.

Elizabeth S. Bolman engages with the visual culture of the eastern Mediterranean in the late antique and Byzantine periods. Best known for her work in Egypt, she has demonstrated the vitality of Christian Egyptian art and presented new understandings of the nature of artistic production in the early Byzantine and Medieval periods. She edited and was the principal contributor to the award-winning Monastic Visions: Wall Paintings in the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea (Yale University Press and the American Research Center in Egypt, 2002) and to The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt (2016). She was appointed Elsie B. Smith Professor in the Liberal Arts and Chair of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University in August 2017. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright program, National Endowment for the Humanities, Dumbarton Oaks, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the United States Agency for International Development, among others.

Presented by the Byzantine Dialogues from the Gennadius Library

Advance registration required.

Find out more information here.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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