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The Wall Paintings from the Monastery on Kom H in Dongola

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Default Title
ISBN: 978-83-235-0923-3
Description: paperback, 281 pp. (29,5x20,5 cm), 141 figs., DVD with the catalogue
Condition: new
Weight: 950g.



Malgorzata Martens-Czarnecka, Nubia III, The Wall Paintings from the Monastery on Kom H in Dongola, Dongola 3, Warsaw 2011


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABBREVIATIONS AND BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
LIST OF WALL PAINTINGS FROM THE MONASTERY ON KOM H
(BY CATALOGUE NUMBERS)
GENERAL PHASING OF THE WALL PAINTINGS LIST OF FIGURES
INTRODUCTION
Chapter One
WALL PAINTINGS IN THE MONASTERY: LOCATION AND GENERAL CHARACTERISTIC
Chapter Two
PAINTING MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUE
Chapter Three
ICONOGRAPHIC AND ICONOLOGICAL ASPECTS
I. Biblical and apocryphal scenes
A. The Old Testament and Prophets
1. Moses receiving the Ten Commandments
2. Story of Balaam
3. Story of Tobias
4. Three Youths in a Fiery Furnace
5. Prophecy of Ezra
6. Prophets
B. The New Testament
1. Annunciation
2. Nativity
3. Slaughter of Innocents
4. Flight into Egypt: palm tree incident
5. Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River
6. Healing of a Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam
II. Holy figures
A. Christ and the Holy Trinity
B. Virgin Mary
C. Angels and Archangels
1. Four Living'Creatures (Zodia)
2. Archangel Michael
3. Archangel Gabriel
4. Archangel Raphael
5. Archangel Zadekiel
6. Angels
D. The Apostles
E. Saints and Martyr Saints
III. Church and court dignitaries
A. Bishops
B. Archpresbyters
C. Deacons
D. Court dignitaries
E. Female donors
IV. Compositions
A. Prothesis scenes
B. Protection scenes
C. Coronation scene
D. Dance scene - invocation to the Virgin Mary
V. Representations
A. Cross
B. Meander
Chapter Four
CHRONOLOGY AND STYLE
A. First period of decoration (from before 1064 to 1113) B. Second period (12th-13th century)
1. Phase one (after AD 1113)
2. Phase two (second part of the 12th century
into the 13th century)
C. Terminal phase (13th-14th century)
Chapter Five
CONCLUSION
CATALOGUE OF WALL PAINTINGS INDICES
THE WALL PAINTINGS FROM THE MONASTERY ON KOM H IN DONGOLA. THE CATALOGUE - DVD



"The importance of the wall paintings that Małgorzata Martens-Czarnecka discusses in this volume is exceptional for a number of reasons. First of all, after the Faras Cathedral murals, also discovered by Polish archaeologists, the assemblage from the monastery on Kom H in Dongola is the richest and the best preserved set of wall paintings everfound in Nubia. Secondly, the murals from Dongola include a number of compositions that are entirely unparalleled — in Nubia as well as beyond its borders. One of these is a ritual dance scene in front of an icon of the Virgin Mary, with dancers wearing masks, presumably in illustration of some local custom. A narrative story in episodes, interpreted as that of Tobias, appears to be equally unique, as is also the image of a nursing and spinning Virgin Mary (a combination of Nursing and Annunciation themes). Scenes like the investiture of Archangel Michael, Ezra's prophecy, the Story of Balaam and the Healing of a Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam have no parallels from Nubia. Thirdly, the decoration from the monastic complex on Kom H is representative of the little known art of wall painting practiced in the capital of Makuria. Until now, opinions about Nubian wall painting overall have been formulated based on the artistic production of more or less provincial centers located in the north of the land."

Adam Łajtar

The volume is a complete publication of a set of 144 religious paintings from the llth through the 13th-14th centuries discovered by Polish archaeologists in Dongola, the capital of the Christian Nubian kingdom of Makuria, which existed in the valley of the Middle Nile from the 6th through the 14th century. The murals come from the monastic enclosure on Kom H, from a church, but also from an ascetic monk's cell turned chapel and two substantial architectural complexes of the Northwest and Southwest Annexes. The author discusses this religious painting assemblage in thematical order, presenting Biblical and apocryphal scenes taken from the Old and New Testament, representations of holy figures including archangels, angels and saints, images of Nubian church and royal dignitaries and figures of donors, that also appeared among the murals. Finally, she deals with compositions, like the unique prothesis and coronation scenes, as well as individual ornamental motifs. The catalogue takes a topographical approach, describing the paintings in detail and illustrating each item as richly as possible. A selection of perspective views of individual buildings, rooms and walls facilitates quick understanding of the painting decoration systems in the various monastery buildings and annexes, and gives grounds for evaluation of the state of preservation, artistic quality and iconography of particular paintings.

Małgorzata Martens-Czarnecka is an acknowledged expert on Nubian wall painting. She has the additional advantage of having participated in the excavations of the monastery on Kom H and thus her knowledge of the material is first-hand. In fact, most of the documentation of the paintings presented in this volume, including the drawings, were made by her personally in the field.
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