Les Peintures des Couvents du Désert d’Esna + Les Peintures des Couvents du Ouadi Natroun. TWO VOLUMES.

Leroy, Jules.

Book ID: 3815


Folio. Volume I: xxv, 85 pp., 79 b/w & colour plates / Volume II: xiv, 141 pp., [157] pp., of plates (some folded), illustrations, (some coloured), biblio. publisher’s wrappers, title printed in red & Black, shelf sticker on lower spine, light soiling to covers, otherwise set clean inside and in very good condition, publiees avec la collaboration de Basile Psiroukis et Bernard Lentheric, Publications de L'institut Francais D'Archeologie Orientale du Caire, Tomes XCIV & CI, 1975-1982.


Leroy, Jules (1903–1979) was a French art historian and Syriac scholar. Between 1930 and 1950, he lived as a priest in Paris and taught in various high schools. During his spare time he developed an interest in illuminated Syriac mss., which he investigated first in the Bibliothèque Nationale and later in the other major European libraries. Starting in 1954, as an employee of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and stationed for several years at the Institut Français d’Archéologie in Beirut, Leroy complemented his earlier work on illuminated Syriac mss. in Europe with research in all major collections of the Middle East. This led to his pioneering 1964 publication, Les manuscrits syriaques à peintures, which includes the study of several mss. from Ṭur ʿAbdin, Iraq, and Syria. In the same period he also wrote his ‘Moines et monastères du Proche-Orient’ (1958), which was subsequently translated into English (1963; repr. 2004). It covers Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq.
In the mid-sixties Leroy, together with Serge Sauneron (d. 1976), launched an ambitious project that aimed at the documentation of Coptic wall paintings. The first volume of ‘La peinture murale chez les Coptes’ appeared in 1975. The second volume, which appeared posthumously (1982), included the first detailed description of the wall paintings of Dayr al-Suryān known at that time. Leroy was the first western art historian with a lifelong commitment to the study of the art of the Syriac and other eastern Christian traditions. Along with his pioneering Syriac publications, which remain authoritative today, he published extensively on Coptic, Copto-Arabic, Ethiopian, and Armenian art. In spite of his focused iconographical approach, he always was aware of the larger historical, literary, and cultural contexts and paid due attention to the links between eastern Christian art and late ancient, Byzantine, and Islamic art.

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