Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/web2cowi/public_html/wp-content/themes/astra/inc/class-astra-dynamic-css.php on line 3458
Astasi Al-Rumi, Or Eustathius The Greek - Coptic Wiki

ASTASI AL-RUMI, or Eustathius the Greek

One of the most productive painters of Coptic icons in the latter part of the nineteenth century. An Arabic-speaking Greek iconographer from Jerusalem, he worked in for a period of approximately thirty- five years, from 1836 to 1871. Most of his many icons, which were commissioned either by Coptic or by Coptic notables, were painted in Cairo, where he lived in the AL-RUM. Many of his icons were produced during the iconoclastic controversy within the Coptic church, when the Patriarch CYRIL IV ordered the destruction of many icons, particularly in Upper Egypt.

There is no that Astasi was familiar with the Greek, Coptic, or script, and his errors on inscriptions indicate that he was unfamiliar with the Greek and the Latin alphabets. He painted all his icons on wood, a noteworthy fact because during the nineteenth century most Coptic icons were painted on canvas. In addition, he adorned numerous chalice arks with his paintings. In all instances, he added to the bottom of his paintings an Arabic text in the form of a votive inscription including his name and the date. In most cases, he used the Coptic calendar and in some instances the calendar.

His subjects can be divided into three groups: the Holy Virgin and Child, the feasts of the church, and the saints of the church. Astasi’s icons are found in the of Old Cairo, the al-Rum, the HARIT ZUWAYLAH, the churches of the of the Wadi al-Natrun, the Monastery of the Holy Virgin (DAYR AL-MUHARRAQ), the Church of the Holy Virgin, JABAL AL-TAYR, and ASYUT.

  • Meinardus, O. “The Iconography of Astasi al-Rumi.” Studia Aegyptiaca, Collectanea 14 (1970-1971):377-97.

OTTO MEINARDUS