Fragment of a Painted Panel with a Flower Motif

6th-7th century
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)
Credit Line:
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.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.