By Magdi Guirguis

Yuhanna al-Armani has lengthy been recognized 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 creative creation to put him firmly within the social, political, and financial 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 quite a bit call for for his paintings at that specific time? and the way did a member of Cairo's then rather modest Armenian neighborhood succeed in such heights of creative and artistic recreation? Drawing on eighteenth-century deeds in terms of al-Armani and different contributors 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 may curiosity scholars and students of artwork heritage, Coptic reports, or Ottoman history.

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

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The source for this piece of information is the German Dominican monk, Vansleb. Vansleb visited Egypt at the end of the seventeenth century, in 1672–73. 4 Here he mentions that icons were burned for fuel. 5 However, because the preparation of this oil was an important Church event, Coptic sources address this matter and they provide us with a more convincing explanation for it. From these sources we find out that the preparation of the chrism was discontinued in 1461 and was not resumed till 1703.

Though several studies have focused on the history of Ottoman architecture, the history of painting has not received much attention. Furthermore, while a number of studies have explored the arts of the Ottoman courts, artistic production outside the courts of the sultans, in other words the works produced for other than the ruling classes, has not been explored. Thus, it is not possible to compare Egypt’s eighteenth-century icons with contemporary paintings from other provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

1709). 47 3. The Hanging Church of the Virgin was restored at the expense of Mu‘allim Guirguis Abu Mansur al-Tukhi (d. 48 4. 49 5. The Church of the Archangel Michael in Old Cairo was restored by Mu‘allim Lutf-Allah Abu Yusuf (d. 50 6. 51 7. 52 8. The monastery of Anba Bula on the Red Sea was brought back to life after being abandoned for some 119 years. In 1732, a new church was built at the monastery at the expense of Mu‘allim Guirguis Yusuf al-Suruji. indd 42 EGYPTIAN ICONS BEFORE YUHANNA AL-ARMANI 3/11/08 9:04:34 AM the monastery to attend the church’s consecration.

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