The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

The Gate of Heaven

Book Specifications
XII, 373 pp.

The Gate of Heaven

1999  |  PIHANS Volume 85 Wall Paintings with Old Testament Scenes in the Altar Room and the Khûrus of Coptic Churches ISBN 13: 978-90-6258-086-6  |  ISSN: 1571-5728

G.J.M. van Loon

This book deals with the wall paintings with Old Testament scenes found in the altar room and the khûrus (the transverse space in front of it) of five Coptic churches and chapels dating from the 11th century to c. 1300. Some of the paintings have never before been reproduced.
The first part of the book contains descriptions of the architecture of the
churches and chapels, the iconographical programme and the murals, and also explores the dating of the architecture and the paintings.
The second part is devoted to the question of why these specific themes were chosen and whether or not the paintings belong to an Egyptian iconographical
tradition. These issues are examined on the basis of research into the symbolic meaning and function of the altar room and the khûrus, and an iconographical and iconological study of the various Old Testament themes.