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Treasures of Egyptian Hermits
(monuments of Coptic art and written language in the Hermitage)
26 October 1999 - March 2000

The exhibition includes 300 monuments of Coptic art and written language of 3 - 12th centuries. (Copts was the name given to the natives of Egypt by the Arabs who conquered this country in 641. Since 17th century the words "Copt" and "coptic" started to be used by scientists to identify christian Egyptians and their culture).

Icon painting, weaving, stone and wooden sculpture, carved bone and metal, ceramics, leather articles, papyruses are represented at this exhibition. Apart from world known masterpieces of Coptic art such as fragments of the tunic decorated with scenes of the labours of Hercules and triumph of Dionysos, a plate depicting carpenter Colphe, a bronze chandelier with a female figure and snow leopards, there is a considerable amount of worldclass monuments that have been little known even for specialists. The Hermitage collection of Coptic art amounts to more than 5,5 thousand exhibits, has a number of unique and rare works of art and rates one of the best in the world. All types of Coptic art (but for the monumental painting) are represented in this collection. The Hermitage is especially proud of the collection of textiles (more than 300). Monuments of written language (papyruses, parchments, stones, wood) with texts in Greek and Coptic enjoy wide fame among specialists.

The basis for the Hermitage collection of Coptic art was laid down in the late 19th century by the curator of the Department of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance of the Hermitage V.G.Bock. From his two expeditions to the Nile Valley (1888 - 1889 and 1897 - 1898) he brought more than 3,5 thousand of versatile works of art and monuments of written language. Later on the Hermitage collection was enlarged with exhibits from other museums and private collections, new acquisitions and gifts.


Head of an Angel
V c.

Larger view


Medallion with the Goddess of the Earth Gaia
IV c.
Larger view


Chandelier with a Figure of a Woman
IV -V centuries

Larger view


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Complete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etcComplete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etc. !
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