Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Arch with Running Vines, Leaves, and Fruit, 500–600
    Byzantine; Said to be from the Monastery of Apa Apollo, Bawit, Egypt
    Limestone; Overall H. including capitals 55 1/8 in. (140 cm); Overall W. including capitals 91 in. (231 cm)
    Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1929 (29.9.2a–v)

    The monastic community at Bawit was originally founded by Apa (Father) Apollo at a small village in the 300s. It grew to consist of numerous complexes with residences, chapels, and service structures and two large churches profusely decorated with sculptures and paintings, often reused from other sites, all affiliated with the Coptic Church. The more important buildings were decorated with courses of sculpted stone freely combining floral and geometric motifs inspired by classical art—rosettes, acanthus leaves, meander patterns—with newer Christian themes. These sculptural elements, demonstrating the Byzantine love of complex patterning and lush textures, were originally vibrantly painted in rich colors like those surviving on textiles.This remarkably well-preserved arch may once have been set over a doorway at the monastery. Pomegranates and other fruits grow from a running vine that terminates on both sides in decorated amphorae, or vases.

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  • Arch with Running Vines, Leaves, and Fruit, 500–600
    Byzantine; Said to be from the Monastery of Apa Apollo, Bawit, Egypt
    Limestone; Overall H. including capitals 55 1/8 in. (140 cm); Overall W. including capitals 91 in. (231 cm)
    Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1929 (29.9.2a-v)

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