(each composition will be given its own page linked from here shortly)
a) The trail that runs through St Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, Egypt
What can be said, one of the earliest pieces of artwork which appears to secretly incorporate the Henu Barque appears to have been created around the 7th Century at the Monastery of St. Catherine in Egypt which was built by order of Emperor Justinian I (reigned 527-565) during the Roman occupation of parts of Egypt lasting until 641 and is believed to enshrine the burning bush from which God first revealed himself to Moses.
That might be a clue about how it was introduced into Western art and perhaps it came out of same need for early Christian artists to adapt early Roman motifs to give new meaning to what had been pagan mythology.
Perhaps because of the compositional possibilities that it offered the Henu Barque would become an interesting template that would catch on, often being used for mosaics and paintings of the resurrection of Christ for hundreds of years to come.
|The Monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, Egypt|
This group of paintings appears to reference a Henu Barque of the same type as that found on the Papyrus of Ani, and not much about that papyrus is known before it was stolen from an Egyptian museum and given to the British Museum, other than it was found in the tomb of Anu.
If it wasn't from his papyrus, perhaps there is another papyrus somewhere with a depiction of the Henu Barque created in near enough the same way.
|The Henu Barque from The Papyrus of Ani|
Once modern Western artists came to learn about the Egyptian book of the dead and how to translate Egyptian hieroglyphs around the nineteenth century, they would have been able to appreciate the Henu Barque more as something with a mythological and symbolic value.
b) See: The Nativity icon, St Catherine's Monastery, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt, approximately 7th century AD.
|The Nativity icon, St Catherine's Monastery, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt, approximately 7th century AD.|
c) Mosaic of the resurrection at San Marco, Venice (11th Century)
- The Henu Barque: The papyrus of Ani's Henu Barque is a good example of the image to compare it with. Three rudders turned into three men on the right, two of whom are crowned. The straps and metal looks anchoring the barque down become keys. The head of the falcon at the top becomes Christ's head. The horns of the Oryx becomes he floating piece of material extending from the left arm of the Christ. The kneeling figure becomes the half kneeling figure on Christ's left. I
accept that the likelihood that there's any connection is rather small,
and it's also a case of cherry picking amongst the results on Google,
but it's worth exploring.
|Mosaic of the resurrection at San Marco, Venice|
|The Resurrection—The Descent into Hell (The Anastasis) - Hosios Loukas, Phocis . 11th Century AD|
Christ, Pala d'Oro (Golden Pall) altarpiece, Saint Mark's Basilica, |
Venice, goldsmith art, Italy, 12th-14th century, detail
- The Henu Barque: Nativity scene uses the Henu-Barque configuration ? Three rudders become the three wise men. Three pillars become angels. Top falcon head becomes star of Bethlehem, and the pillars become angels. The skirted man becomes a pipe player in a red robe. The barque becomes the sides of the manger. The white pillow life forms become the ox and donkey. The lower falcon head becomes the baby Jesus. The bull horns become Mary's head and the Oryx horns become her halo.
(late 13th Century)
Church of Agioi Theodoroi
f) Birth of the prophet Muhammad (detail) Iranian ms, (c. 1314–15 CE)
- The Henu Barque: Three rudders become three women. Fan and oryx horns become angel wings. Kneeling man become angel holding baby. Left kestrel head becomes left figure behind Mohammad's mother. Pile of sand becomes right figure behind Mohammad's mother. Of course, there's no certainty about anything but it's an interesting to suggest it.
|Birth of the prophet Muhammad (detail) Iranian ms, (c. 1314–15 CE)|
g) Resurrection of Christ at Church Santa Maria in the monastery of Santes Creus (1407)
- The Henu Barque: The horns become the flag. The outer part of the fan becomes the long beard of the man on the right. The upper kestrel head becomes Christ's head. The barque itself becomes the upper part of Christ's robe.
|Resurrection of Christ at Church Santa Maria in the monastery of Santes Creus (1407)|
h) See: Resurrection of Christ (1426) by Master Franke
|Resurrection of Christ (1424) by Master Franke|
|Resurrection by Dieric Bouts (1455)|
- The Henu Barque: The boat becomes the funeral shroud. The bull horns and beaded rope become the tree behind the the left man, and also become the dagger and the metal oval item (a clasp?) next to it.The The Oryx head's eye becoming the blue jewel in the metal oval. The Oryx horns become the hill to the left of the man on the left.
|The Lamentation (1455-60) Petrus Christus|
k) "The Resurrection" from a tryptich at the Ducal palace in Urbino (15th Century)
- The Henu Barque
|"The Resurrection" from a tryptich at the Ducal palace in Urbino (15th Century)|
- The Henu Barque: Well, perhaps the three rudders become the three women (of Mark 16 in the bible) behind the fence. The frame with three pillars becomes the half open doorway. The oryx horns becomes the flag with tails and the bull horns becomes the angel wings. The fan and the oryx horns becomes the aura around the Christ as well.
|Resurrection (second half of 15th century) by Hans Memling|
m) La Resurrezione di Cristo (1475 - 1479) by Giovanni Bellinig
- The Henu Barque: I'm looking for connections with the Henu Barque, perhaps it's not so obvious this time, whatever might be found. Perhaps I am even looking for signs of the wrong Henu Barque, but then the curve of the hilly landscape this time reflects the curve of the henu barque. Perhaps the arches of the bridge might be inspired by the semi-circular loops on the sledge runner. There might be various ways to perceive other elements like the Henu Barque but this artist has been a little more conservative about incorporating them if he has. However Resurrezione di San Francesco al Prato by Pietro Perugino, which follows the idea of this painting would appear to be a little more direct in showing references to the Henu Barque.
|La Resurrezione di Cristo (1475 - 1479) by Giovanni Bellini|
n) Nativity (1492) by Domenico Ghirlandaio
- The Henu Barque: The grey haired Joseph's head being in place of the kestrel head to the left of the pillars. The Oryx head might well be where the sheep are grazing to the top left. The man's black hair or wig may have been turned into the archway on the upper left, and the beaded rope coming from the bulls horn becomes a column on the arch. The pillars that hold up the barque, Ghirlandaio reduced to two pillars in his painting either side of the ox and donkey.
|Nativity (1492) by Domenico Ghirlandaio|
o) Resurrezione di San Francesco al Prato (1499) by Pietro Perugino
- The Henu Barque: Black wig of crouched man and helmet of man with ear spaces. Plinth with runner and pole and tomb with lid seen from angle. Oryx horns and flag tales. miniature ox horns and angel sleeves. Also the curves of the cocoon that the Christ figure appears to be in might be based on the Oryx horns. Having said that, what if the Ox horns have become the flag tails or a mixture of the two.
|Resurrezione di San Francesco al Prato|
(1499) by Pietro Perugino
p) Resurrection (1502) by Pietro Perugino
- The Henu Barque.
|Resurrection (1502) by Pietro Perugino|
q) The Mona Lisa
- The Henu Barque: See: Mona Lisa incorporates the Henu Barque?
|See: Mona Lisa/ La Gioconda ( c. 1503–06, perhaps continuing until c. 1517) |
by Leonardo Da Vinci.
|Adoration of the Magi (1503 approx) by Albrecht Dürer|
u) The Witches Rout (Lo Stregozzo), ) by Marcantonio Raimondi and Agostino Veneziano from around 1520.
- The Henu Barque: Rudders
transformed into the bones of three legs together on the right. The
chain of beads is transformed into an animal's neck bones. Perhaps the
skirt of the crouching man has been transformed
into a goat on the left. The pillows like white sand have perhaps been
transformed into the buttocks of a man top top of the skeleton of a
horned animal in the lower center.
v) The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane by El Greco in 1590s
- The Henu Barque: The three rudders become the three spear heads held by the soldiers in the background on the right. Oryx horns become an angel's wings, the head becomes its bent arm. The bull horns becomes the upper part of a chalice held by the angel. The crouched man's upper body and arms becomes the people sleeping in the cave.
- The Nativity icon at St Catherine's Monastery, Sinai (created around 7th Century)?
|The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane by El Greco in 1590s|