Volume 5 (2022)

First page of the paper.

Papers presented at the third international conference of the Hellenic Institute of Egyptology

La Maternité et l'Enfance dans l'Art Copte

Sadek el-Gendi, Sherin


Starting from birth to the crib, and the first steps in the family apartment, the mother takes care of her children and supervises their progress. Since Antiquity, a particular care that attained veneration has been ap¬propriated in ancient Egypt to the woman and especially to the mother. Papyri discovered in the ancient Egyptian tombs are the proof. In this paper, I try to put in focus the theme of motherhood and childhood in Coptic art which was, and is today, the current theme in the world, notably, in the oriental societies and mainly in Egypt. Indeed, the Coptic decoration of many artistic collections dating to the primitive Christian eras in Egypt, contains many decorative scenes borrowed from the Bible, particularly the Mariological and the Christological Cycles, which are in relation with motherhood and childhood. The iconography of several Coptic religious women and martyrs is also in relation with this social and artistic topic. How are mothers and children depicted in Coptic art? Are mothers shown alone? Are there scenes and figures showing children alone without their parents? What are the steps of childhood recorded by the Coptic artist? Are there other decorative elements, which appear in the scenes of motherhood and childhood in Coptic art like the floral and geometric motives, the Christian symbols and the Hellenic, Coptic, Armenian, Syriac and Arab inscriptions? To all these questions, we shall answer in details, in order to offer a complete idea to the readers, researchers and specialists in Coptology through analytic and comparative studies.


Sadek el-Gendi, S. 2022. «La Maternité et l'Enfance dans l'Art Copte», JHIE 5: 117–140



Language: fr

Submitted on 2021-02-14; accepted on 2022-12-10


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