Catalogue


Late antique Egyptian funerary sculpture : images for this world and the next /
Thelma K. Thomas.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2000.
description
xxv, 163 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691034680 (cl. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2000.
isbn
0691034680 (cl. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
3687631
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 87-155) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Thelma K. Thomas is Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art and is Associate Curator of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Thelma K. Thomas's book represents a revolution in our understanding of Egyptian art of late antiquity. It brings to bear new data in the form of Thomas's analysis of the original plaster and paint overlays of these sculptures and her recognition of recarving and forgeries, and it radically reinterprets the entire corpus. I found reading this book exhilarating."--Roger S. Bagnall, Columbia University "This book is the first synthetic study of late antique funerary sculpture from Egypt and the first such study of either regional or general funerary sculpture of the late antique period. Its importance extends to the areas of social and religious practice and beliefs, and of funerary art in the late Roman and early Byzantine empires."--Anna Gonosova, University of California, Irvine
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-10-01:
Thomas's small volume is revisionist in its attempt to redefine earlier scholarship on late antique culture with its condescending prejudices about Coptic Egypt. At a time when other large scale studies of late antiquity and Coptic portraiture are being produced, this seems a timely reconsideration of an important, cross-cultural era. Thomas (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor) updates specific stylistic or iconographic analyses, like that for the so-called "Leda Christiana." She reinterprets commemorative and funerary sculptures to provide a sense of place and to explicate aspects of daily life and the religious beliefs of these people who existed at the crossroads of antiquity and Christianity. The "many voices" of this community are alluded to in this erudite study, and at least we can begin to hear them in all their complexity through the convincing arguments provided in this short, densely footnoted work. Upper-division undergraduates and up. ; University of Rhode Island
Reviews
Review Quotes
This book is the first synthetic study of late antique funerary sculpture from Egypt and the first such study of either regional or general funerary sculpture of the late antique period. Its importance extends to the areas of social and religious practice and beliefs, and of funerary art in the late Roman and early Byzantine empires.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2000
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Summaries
Main Description
Early Coptic art, once heralded as the crude product of a poor, indigenous, Christian peasantry, is here dramatically recast in the more inclusive cultural terms of late antiquity. Focusing on funerary sculpture, one of the best-known categories of late antique Egyptian art, Thelma K. Thomas demonstrates how skilled artisans created a varied repertory of works for a diverse body of commissioners. Some of these sculptures were made for grand monumental tombs and commissioned by an urban, landowning class with strong Hellenistic roots; others were made for smaller and less imposing monuments and commissioned by distinctly different clienteles from monasteries and towns, as well as by different socioeconomic classes within the cities. Thomas balances keen analysis of the surviving sculptures with close attention to primary written sources and archaeological evidence. The approach yields original interpretations of regional implications for attribution groups, and provocatively atmospheric reconstructions of the works as they would have appeared in their original settings. The sculptures' motifs and styles provide evidence for focused discussions of the cultural affiliations of the late antique Egyptians described in this book--pagan and Christian, secular and monastic, children and adults. Thomas's reading of the sculptures' cosmic and eschatological themes allows for an even richer understanding of this historical moment.
Table of Contents
Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductory Remarks: Some Problems of Interpretationp. xvii
Late Antique Egyptian Funerary Sculpture
Sites, Types, and Themesp. 3
Artistry and Artisansp. 22
Monuments of This World
Identities and Communities Attested to by the Funerary Sculpturesp. 33
Funerary Beliefs and Rituals: Effecting the Funerary Sculpturesp. 47
Images for the Next World
Funerary Portraits: Individual Identities of This World for the Nextp. 59
The Absent Deceased: Corporate Membership for the Hereafterp. 73
Concluding Remarks: A Broader Interpretive Settingp. 81
Abbreviationp. 85
Notesp. 87
Bibliographyp. 137
Indexp. 157
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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