Panel from a chiton (00485)

BXM: 000485
Exhibition room: I.5 Christian Egypt and Coptic art

Date: 4th - 5th c.

Dimensions (cm): 15,5Χ15

Panel from a tunic with embroidered decoration.  A medallion containing the bust of an angel is contained in a square.  Wings can be seen above its shoulders and it seems to be dressed in a chiton decorated around the neck and on the chest, with a himation flung over the shoulders. 
The figure has classical features, that is to say it is a relatively naturalistic depiction, with appropriate proportions and correct relationship between the head and body.  In the face, apart from the huge eyes, the features show overall harmony.  Moreover the way the angel is turning its head to the right, with its gaze directed the same way, creates a sense of movement and some sort of perspectival rendering of the figure in space.  All these classical elements, echoes of the Hellenistic tradition, are prevalent in Coptic art in the 4th and 5th centuries.