Armenian Artist in Ottoman Egypt: Yuhanna al-Armani and His Coptic Icons

Overview

Yuhanna al-Armani has long been known by historians of Coptic art as an eighteenth-century Armenian icon painter who lived and worked in Ottoman Cairo. Here for the first time is an account of his life that looks beyond his artistic production to place him firmly in the social, political, and economic milieu in which he moved and the confluence of interests that allowed him to flourish as a painter.
Who was Yuhanna al-Armani? What was his network of relationships? How does this ...

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Overview

Yuhanna al-Armani has long been known by historians of Coptic art as an eighteenth-century Armenian icon painter who lived and worked in Ottoman Cairo. Here for the first time is an account of his life that looks beyond his artistic production to place him firmly in the social, political, and economic milieu in which he moved and the confluence of interests that allowed him to flourish as a painter.
Who was Yuhanna al-Armani? What was his network of relationships? How does this shed light on the contacts between Cairo's Coptic and Armenian communities in the eighteenth century? Why was there so much demand for his work at that particular time? And how did a member of Cairo's then relatively modest Armenian community reach such heights of artistic and creative endeavor? Drawing on eighteenth-century deeds relating to al-Armani and other members of his social network recorded in the registers of the Ottoman courts, Magdi Guirguis offers a fascinating glimpse into the ways of life of urban dwellers in eighteenth-century Cairo, at a time when a civilian elite had reached a high level of prominence and wealth. Illustrated with 28 full-color reproductions of al-Armani's icons, An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Egypt is a rich and compelling window on Cairene social history that will interest students and scholars of art history, Coptic studies, or Ottoman history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789774161520
  • Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Magdi Guirguis who teaches at the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations at the American University in Cairo, is the author of An Armenian Artist in Ottoman Egypt: Yuhanna al-Armani and His Coptic Icons (AUC Press, 2008).

NELLY HANNA is a professor in the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations of the American University in Cairo. She is the author or editor of a number of books on early modern Egypt, including In Praise of Books: A Cultural History of Cairo's Middle Class, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century and (with Raouf Abbas) Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean 1600-1900.

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Table of Contents

Foreword J. Mardick Guiragossian Guiragossian, J. Mardick

Preface Magdi Guirguis Guirguis, Magdi

Introduction Nelly Hanna Hanna, Nelly 1

1 The Background 7

2 Icon-painting in Eighteenth-century Egypt 17

3 Egyptian Icons before Yuhanna al-Armani 39

4 The Armenian Community in Egypt 49

5 A Biographical Sketch of Yuhanna al-Armani 61

6 The Known Works of Yuhanna al-Armani 79

Conclusion 95

Appendix 1 Summary of the Inheritance of Farisiniya, Yuhanna al-Armanis First Wife 99

Appendix 2 Probate Document of Yuhanna al-Armani 101

Appendix 3 The Inheritance of Yuhanna al-Armani 103

Plates Description 105

Index 123

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