Date: Fifth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Egypt
Description: Named after the color of its outer brick walls, the Red Monastery church near Sohag (Egypt) is a basilica with a triconch sanctuary. Unlike most early monastic churches, which tended to be small and austere, the Red Monastery church is monumental and filled with sculptural and painted decoration. Many of the earliest decorative campaigns were concealed by later painting campaigns—evidence of the longterm use of the space. The sanctuary's three semi-domes feature the Ascension of Christ or Christ in Majesty in the east, Christ enthroned in the south, and the nursing Virgin in the north. The Ascension is from the first phase of painting whereas the other two are from the third.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 3
Repository and Online Resources: • See photos of the restored wall paintings on Archnet. • Watch a video reconstruction of the Red Monastery. • Visit the website of the American Research Center in Egypt, which led the conservation efforts at the Red Monastery. • Watch a 1-hour webinar (plus Q & A) on the Red Monastery with Prof. Elizabeth Bolman.
Image Credits: Photographs reproduced by permission of the American Research Center in Egypt. This project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Plan by Navid Jamali.
Tags: Christian, North African, Late Antique, Access to the sacred, Bible, Works in textbook, Monasticism