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The Monastery of Apollo at Bawit - Bust of Christ


A decorated arch from Bawit

The bust of Christ with a crossed nimbus enclosed within a floral garland carried by two winged angels in flight. To the left is a bust of the martyr Saint Selbane, haloed. The text is Coptic. This fresco, which deserves special admiration, was discovered in 1976 in the Monastery of Apollo at Bawit. The head of Christ is set against a jeweled cross; his elongated face narrows sharply towards the chin. His hair falls in long, waved tresses over his shoulders. He has a short beard and a drooping moustache. Slight shading beneath the wide eyes make them appear deep set, with thick eyebrows arching above. The mouth is unnaturally small. The two angels carrying the garland are depicted in full flight. To the left is the "Angel of the Lord", and to the right the "Angle of God"; Christ is labeled the "Saviour". The appearance of the martyr Selbane, depicted haloed within a medallion, in the same lunette may be taken as evidence of the veneration shown by Coptic monks to martyrs. This piece dates to the 6th or 7th century.

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