Publication details

From Sarapis to Christ to the Caliph: Faces as Re-Appropriation of the Past



Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description What makes a face? What makes a body? In this essay we will reflect, in a two-person dialogue, on the shift in forms and concepts from the pagan visual world to that of the early Christians and the Umayyad caliphate. Our aim is to investigate how authority was created through the appropriation of images from the past. We do not wish to present a complete panorama – that would be impossible in these few pages – but rather concentrate on certain types. We will begin with the face of a man (and god) with a long beard and long hair, present across the three religious cultures considered. Then we will complete the argument with the introduction of the whole body, with particular attention to the standing figure. Finally, we will examine the reclining banqueter as a motif appropriated from the distant past.

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