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Imagining the Virgin: The Intersection of Space, Monumentality and Marian Iconography in Late Antique and Early Medieval Egypt

Imagining the Virgin: The Intersection of Space, Monumentality and Marian Iconography in Late Antique and Early Medieval Egypt

Paper given by Sabrina Higgins

Delivered at the Canadian Institute in Greece on 18 October 2017

This lecture contextualizes the iconography of the Virgin Mary within the framework of Late-Antique and Early Medieval Egyptian Christianity. It situates the creation of a visual culture associated with the Virgin within its historical parameters, particularly highlighting the relatively late appearance of Marian imagery on the chronological axis of Christian Art, and it examines the unique spatial considerations for the placement of these images.

In doing so, the lecture traces the diachronic appearance of particular Marian iconographies, while also interrogating whether particular images were localized to specific areas within ecclesiastical and monastic settings.

Professor Sabrina Higgins is Assistant Professor at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, Simon Fraser University.

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