Early Christian (Coptic) Monastery at Esna
Edwin Howland Blashfield
Made during a trip down the Nile, these two precise drawings by Edwin Howland Blashfield depict architectural landmarks of Egypt. In his image of the twelfth-century Coptic monastery Deir el-Shuhada, the artist juxtaposed linear hatch marks with dark shading to capture the play of light amid the transept arches. He also included a careful study of a mural painting of Saint Stephen, as well as color and light notations. (This drawing helped archaeologists in the 1960s discover the mural, which had been covered with whitewash in the intervening years.)
In Temple of Khonsu at Karnak, Blashfield recorded the famous ancient “forest” of colossal columns, focusing primarily on their regularized geometric arrangement rather than their decorative hieroglyphics.
Graphite on cream, medium-weight, smooth wove paper
March 1, 1887
Sheet: 8 1/4 x 10 3/4 in. (21 x 27.3 cm)
Mat (drawing mounted to): 12 x 18 9/16 in. (30.5 x 47.1 cm) (show scale)
Signed in graphite, lower right: "BY. / E. H. BLASHFIELD '87"
Inscription in graphite: in lower right, "Chapels in a Coptic Dayr / out of Esneh -- dating from early / Christian Centuries / Mch 1 1887"; various artist's notations: at top center, "light"; on capital of pilaster at left edge, "[out?]"; on low wall between columns, "warm yellow"; and on two spots on the floor, "sun"
Gift of John H. Field
Mounted on paperboard with 42.217.2 on other side.
This item is not on view
Edwin Howland Blashfield (American, 1848-1936). Early Christian (Coptic) Monastery at Esna, March 1, 1887. Graphite on cream, medium-weight, smooth wove paper, Sheet: 8 1/4 x 10 3/4 in. (21 x 27.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of John H. Field, 48.217.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 48.217.1_IMLS_PS3.jpg)
overall, 48.217.1_IMLS_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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