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Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai
Holy Image, Hallowed Ground:
Icons from Sinai

Edited by Robert S. Nelson and Kristen M. Collins
With contributions by Thomas F. Mathews, David Jacoby, and Father Justin Sinaites. Foreword by His Eminence Archbishop Damianos of Sinai, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine at Sinai.

J. Paul Getty Museum
320 pages, 9 x 12 inches
168 color and 47 b/w illustrations, 2 maps
ISBN 978-0-89236-855-6
hardcover, Out of Stock Indefinitely  2006


Isolated in the remote Egyptian desert, at the base of Mount Sinai, sits the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the Christian world. The Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine at Sinai holds the most important collection of Byzantine icons remaining today. This catalogue, published in conjuction with the exhibition Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai, on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from November 14, 2006, to March 4, 2007, features forty-three of the monastery's extremely rare‹and rarely exhibited‹ icons and six manuscripts still little-known to the world at large.

The exhibition and catalogue bring to life the central role of the icon in Byzantine religious practices. Themes include the icon's status as holy object, the ways in which the icon sanctified the place of worship, and the monks' quest for the holy. The Greek Orthodox monastery at Mount Sinai not only functioned as a major pilgrimage site for centuries but was also a cultural crossroads at the center of the shifting sands of ecclesiastical and secular politics. The accompanying essays explore how the monastery's contact with the outside world, through pilgrimage, resulted in aesthetic exchanges between the monastery and Coptic, Crusader, and Islamic art and between the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic communities in Europe.

Robert S. Nelson is Robert Lehman Professor of the History of Art at Yale University and author of Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument. Kristen M. Collins is assistant curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Thomas F. Mathews is John Langeloth Loeb Professor of the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York. David Jacoby is professor of history at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Father Justin Sinaites is librarian at the Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine at Sinai.

This title is out of stock indefinitely. Please look for it at your local libraries and/or used bookstores.

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