This article discusses an approach to arts writing rooted in the work of Egypt's earliest art critics and historians, yet associated primarily with the legacy of those writers who dominated artistic discourse of the 1960s. In suspending the assumption that Egyptian arts writing resists methodological analysis, I seek to describe the procedures and premises that characterize this approach, as well as address its longstanding dominance within the field, its relationship to the role of concepts of change and continuity in shaping artistic discourse in Egypt of the latter part of the 20th century, and its enduring influence today.

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