Is Coptic art influenced by Pharaonic civilization?

Christianity entered Egypt early by St. Mark, one of the four Bible books. In the 4th century, Coptic art in Egypt began to appear clearly, in its sentence, it was linked to Christian doctrine, influenced by Greek and Roman art, as well as its great and clear influence by Pharaonic art. We saw Coptic art imitate many of his symbols of Pharaonic art. This is what we see in churches, monasteries, pottery, textiles, and houses.

Coptic art has inherited ancient Egyptian art, particularly in the use of geometry, flowers, birds and animal figures, as well as activities such as fishing and agriculture

At the Coptic Art Museum of Luxor, we see a portrayal of animals, birds, flowers, and grape leaves. Copts used grape leaves and also the grape plant itself to decorate their buildings. This is what we also see widely apparent in ancient Egyptian legends and arts.

Another symbol of Coptic art, Palm newspaper, where the newspaper was found commonly in ancient Egyptian art, symbolizing “victory” in Coptic art where palm branches are used in “one of the two shoanists” celebrations to commemorate Jesus entry into Jerusalem.

The hieroglyphic mark (Ankh), the key to life, is the symbol of the cross in Coptic art; Coptic artists inherited this type of cross as a symbol of eternity and peace.

Coptic church art paintings are different from Christian paintings in the west, where Coptic paintings in Egypt depict Jesus as a human being. Historians see this as an extension of Pharaonic art, as in photographing Egyptian kings more seriously, as Christ’s face appeared on a “glorious side” that does not show much suffering to highlight this ” divine” nature.

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We also see that there are links between Isis worship in ancient Egypt and the virgin Mary in Coptic art, where we see that pictures of the idol Isis breastfeeding her baby are reflected in the image of the virgin lady holding Jesus.

Similarly, in paintings representing the Holy Family journey from Bethlehem to Egypt, the ancient Egyptian idol (Horus) was portrayed as a person who guides the Holy Family throughout their journey, according to some Coptic Church historians.

Finally, research suggests that because Copts in Egypt are proud of their pharaonic background, Christians in Egypt built architectural elements influenced by ancient Egyptian temples, such as the triple design of their churches. The “hall of columns” in ancient Egypt considers it a prototype of the “Basilic Plan” of the Christian Church.

There were also some ancient Egyptian temples that turned into churches, such as ancient temples in Luxor, Carnac, and Devo, where Coptic patterns and symbols can be seen on walls.

The dome in Coptic architecture, one of the most important architectural elements of the Coptic Church, can also reflect the ancient Egyptian tradition of using the idol “Note” as a dome to heaven.

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Source: Egyptian Streets

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