medievalpoc Profile picture
Feb 5, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I saw this posted on Facebook, and that it was an image that had "gone viral" (to quote a friend) in less than a week. I couldn't confirm any of the statements made in the text, even whether or not this particular work was in the museum claimed. The truth was more interesting.
Most of the images in the Coptic Museum, Cairo, date from 6th-10th century, and honestly they're breathtaking, gorgeous works:…
Now iirc, the earliest depiction of Jesus Christ is considered to be "Healing of the Paralytic" from Dura Europos in what is now Syria, created c. 235-40. It was at NYU in 2011:…
Dura Europos wasn't excavated until the 1920s, and if I understand correctly, contained the earliest dated scenes from the New Testament that are currently known.
They also found very convincing evidence that Jewish, Pagan, Christian, and possibly Islamic worship all happened in the same small group of buildings, including a "house-church".
"The finds at Dura also unexpectedly demonstrated that, far from being modern developments, religious coexistence and multiculturalism were thriving a couple of millennia ago on the outskirts of the Roman Empire."
There also were some Jewish figural artworks in the synagogue that I understand were a big deal, and I hope maybe some Jewish Medieval Studies experts on #medievaltwitter might know more?
"Not only did Christians, Jews and pagans worship side by side -the Temple of Aphrodite was located across the street from the synagogue- but the city was also inhabited by distinct populations of Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Persians. And they all apparently coexisted in harmony."
My favorite part might actually be the fact that they had an equivalent of a "coexist" bumper sticker: "Excavators even found a ring in the ruins, also now on display, engraved with the Greek word “omonoia,” meaning “harmony” or “concord.”
Although Dura was small, it was an important waystation above the Euphrates for merchants and travelers:
"Inscriptions on the city gates were bilingual. A donor’s name on one synagogue tile is in Aramaic, and on another tile the same name is in Greek."
In conclusion: the earliest known dated images of Jesus were made in a multicultural hippie town in Syria in the 3rd century with bilingual public signage by people who wore "coexist" symbols, and he looks to be a young, brown-skinned man healing people for free

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More from @medievalpoc

Sep 25, 2018
Giuseppe Castiglione, also known as Lang Shining (郎世寧), was born on July 19, 1688, in the central San Marcellino district of Milan, Italy. At the age of 27, he received instructions to go to China where he served as an artist at the imperial court of three emperors.
While in China, Castiglione took the name Lang Shining (郎世寧), and adapted his Western painting style to Chinese themes and taste. This painting of Xiang Fei (A woman) in European Armour was made c.1760, and resides in National Palace Museum, Taipei.
Giuseppe Castiglione
Kazaks offering horses in tribute to the Emperor Qianlong
China/Southern Italy (1757)
Ink and colors on paper; hanging scroll. 45.5 x 269 cm
Réunion des Musées Nationaux
Read 13 tweets
Aug 12, 2018
Anton Domenico Gabbiani
Portrait of Three Musicians of the Medici Court
Italy (c. 1687)
oil on canvas, 141 x 208 cm.
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence
One of the more frustrating trends I’ve noticed in archives & museum collections is how many paintings that, based on the text descriptions, you would have absolutely no clue that a person of color is in it.
The boy with the parrot was probably the caretaker of the menagerie. The same artist did several other portraits of important servants in the Medici household in groups.…
Read 5 tweets
Aug 5, 2018
Portrait of Elihu Yale, the 2nd Duke of Devonshire, Lord James Cavendish, Mr. Tunstal, and a Page
England (c. 1708)
Oil on Canvas, 201.3 x 235.6 cm.
Yale Center for British Art…
So, a lot of people have misunderstandings about the role of pages like the one in this painting. Yes, there’s a massive class difference between the page pictured, and the pampered children of the gentry visible behind the page that would never be bridged.
But at the same time, the page would have social, financial and other advantages well above your “average” person in that area at that time. As a member of the Duke’s household, he would have received a genteel education, instruction in social graces, fine clothing+
Read 9 tweets
Aug 5, 2018
I happened across some discussions about me pretty much by accident, and honestly I encourage ppl to think critically about what I post. But. If the fact that I make errors leads you to believe this info is inherently "untrustworthy", please reconsider ur concept of education
Something that keeps me so fired up about doing this is that I get to learn as much as I teach here. Another is that I'm basically liveblogging the process of research. I'm fine if ppl want to follow without that kind of engagement, but the idea is you can do this too.
The only reason I bring this up is because I want people to really think about *who* we leave room for to get it wrong sometimes, who gets the space to learn, and how its those working *outside* traditional frameworks we give the *least* leeway and freedom to.
Read 12 tweets
Jul 26, 2018
Tabernacle in the Namban Style
Japan, Spain (c. 1580-90s)
Urushi, wood, mother-of-pearl and silver. 34,4 x 57,8 x 32,2 cm.
Monasterio de la Encarnación, Madrid.
Patrimonio Nacional. Spain.
"The namban liturgical lacquers that have survived to the present day in churches, monasteries and convents [...] provide tangible evidence of the cross-cultural interaction that occurred between the East and West, during the so-called ‘Christian century’ in Japan."
Read 7 tweets
Jul 24, 2018
I <3 Hispano-Moresque ware! This style of pottery was created in Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), and incorporated/blended Islamic & European elements. It was the most elaborate and luxurious pottery being produced in Europe until the 15th century.
This lusterware is interesting from a lot of different angles: the political events that led to its creation, the science that goes into its production, and its social & economic functions. Also VERY PRETTY, like most everything from medieval Iberia:…
Some of the most famous pieces are the Alhambra Vases. The originals would have been from the 1300s. To give an idea of the impact & detail, Joseph-Théodore Deck made a copy for exhibition in the 1860s or so that resides at @V_and_A…
Read 11 tweets

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