Fragment of a Painted Panel with a Flower Motif
Made in Egypt, excavated at Bawit
Tempera on Ficus sp.
5 7/8 x 11 13/16 x 1/2 in. (15 x 30 x 1.2 cm)
Musée du Louvre, Département des Antiquités Égyptiennes, Paris (AF 4766)
Not on view
According to literary tradition, Saint Apollo, "the Equal of the Angels," founded the Monastery of Saint Apollo at Bawit (Deir Abu Abullu) in Middle Egypt in the late fourth century. Today, among the more than ninety-nine acres of ruins, churches are at the heart of the complex surrounded by monastic buildings. The abundance of surviving architectural and painted decorations demonstrates the success of "the angelic life," or monasticism, at the site before it was abandoned in the eleventh century.
Painted floral panels like this one alternated with panels of figures such as Brother George in a frieze decorating a room.