Isaac Fanous and the Contemporary School

Nativity (detail) I.Fanous

Professor Isaac Fanous (1919-2007), is the father of the Contemporary or Neo-Coptic School of iconography.  He was undoubtedly a visionary and one of the greatest Coptic artists.  To him we owe the recovery/rediscovery of an artistic tradition that goes back to the zenith of the Coptic period (3rd-7th c.) with roots reaching back to Ancient Egypt. He studied iconography under renown Russian master Leonid Ospenski while on a three year scholarship at Le Louvre in the early 1960’s. On his return to Egypt, he established a new canon and an authentic and timeless Coptic style based on the principles of sacred geometry that transcends Christian denominational or cultural boundaries in its beauty and depth. His works adorn many churches and cathedrals in Egypt and the Coptic Diaspora, particularly in California, USA. He headed the Department of Art at the Institute of Coptic Studies, Cairo, for 50 years. 


                                            +  Memory eternal +

Annunciation  I. Fanous

Nativity  I. Fanous

Stained glass (detail) London 1977   I. Fanous