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The J. Paul Getty Museum

A Thebaid: Monks and Hermits in a Landscape Gm-00020401

A Thebaid: Monks and Hermits in a Landscape Gm-00020401

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Lorenzo Costa (Italian, about 1460–1535) Using only pen and ink, Lorenzo Costa portrayed the cradle of Christian monasticism, the Thebaid, a Roman division of the upper Nile River valley. Beginning with Saint Paul of Thebes and Saint Anthony of Egypt in the 200s, Christian monks retreated to this region, to live a solitary life of ascetism and prayer. Over time, these monks, also known as "desert fathers," organized into communities.

Costa's scratchy, energetic draftmanship created a bustling composition filled with monks and a landscape riddled with the grottoes, huts, and caves they used for prayer and shelter. He portrayed an imaginary scene, incorporating a variety of monastic saints and spanning different periods. In the upper left background, Saints Paul and Anthony are shown seated, receiving bread from a raven through which God provided nourishment. Mary Magdalene, who supposedly lived her later years alone in the desert, stands near the river to the right. The landscape itself appears more European than Egyptian, perhaps reflecting Costa's native countryside around Bologna, Italy, rather than the real Thebaid.

Art Prints are printed on heavy matte finish German art paper using the finest Canon archival inks. Frame is black natural with a white mattboard and Acrylite glazing.

Wall Murals are printed on 42" matte finish, self-adhesive Kodak PhotoText fabric panels that combine and mount easily on a non textured wall surface. We can custom make to any size, just ask.

Stretched Canvas is stretched by hand over 1.5" thick pine bars and printed on cotton poly matte finish canvas. Each canvas is hand coated with Hahnemuhle UV/Archive coating, these are Swiss quality best in industry canvases.


All our images are digitized from the original negative , printed and assembled in Switzerland to museum standards by our master printer.

All of our products are popular and custom made by hand to order, please allow 2-4 weeks to make them and 1-2 weeks for shipment anywhere in the world.

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Artwork in this collection is from The J. Paul Getty Museum. Reproduction rights are reserved by the copyright owner and used under license by Archivea GmbH. .

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