The realistically evoked bodies and expressive faces suggest Roman narratives that survive only in contemporary descriptions and on sarcophagi that have long lost their richly painted surfaces.
The works were probably originally used in a burial in Egypt, where the images, as part of a large hanging, would have been an outermost layer of the burial wrappings. The surviving painted elements are from a depiction of the Crossing of the Red Sea as described in Exodus, especially verses — From the left, the figures are the head of the Angel of the Lord going behind the Israelites; a torso of an Israelite soldier; the Philistines astonished at the Israelite success; the army of the Pharaoh; and Mariam celebrating the successful crossing by playing on her tymbrel.
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A fragmentary large hanging in the Abegg Foundation depicting events in Exodus is carbon 14 dated to A. Or, if made at the later end of the date range, the paintings might have been made for Christian use, as the event became considered a symbol of universal baptism and salvation by the fourth century. Sarcophagi with similar depictions of Mariam appear ca.
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Further study will help determine if these examples of the epic treatment of biblical history were part of the developing visual voice of the Jewish or Christian tradition, decorating a church or synagogue, or the aristocratic home of a devout member of either faith. Not on view. Public Domain.
Date: A. Culture: Byzantine.www.belogorie.by/modules/have/gucy-south-sea.php
fragments of an empire
Medium: Paint and indigo-dyed linen. Classification: Paintings.
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Brown Jr. Gifts; Austin B. Grisanti and Suzanne P. Contact fragments of an empire.
The Kolbrin’s Exodus Story – Ancient Egyptian Version
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Fragment of an Empire
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