Art of Ethiopia


Publisher: Casemate DistributedPublishers

Publication Date: May 29, 2006

ISBN: 9780954901462

Binding: Paperback

Availability: 10-15 Days

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The hand crosses, icons and illuminated manuscripts of Ethiopian Christianity are the subject of this slim, lavishly illustrated volume, a treasure of devotional art. Though today a majority of its citizens are Muslim, Ethiopia-the oldest independent country in Africa-has Christian roots that date to the fourth century and the conversion of their King Ezana, and the Orthodox Christian art featured here dates from the 12th century to the 19th. This carefully curated book is divided into three sections, focusing on the ornate cast iron and bronze crosses first used in church processionals during the Middle Ages; the illuminated texts that were popular from the 14th to the 16th century and then again in the late 17th and 18th; and the painted icons that had begun playing a crucial role in worship by the 15th century. All reveal the dynamic marriage of Judeo-Christian and sub-Saharan African traditions and the traffic between Ethiopia and Byzantine, Islamic and European art. The crosses have a Celtic flavor, the icons seem Byzantine and some compositions were modeled on Roman paintings-and yet the subject matter, figures and colors form a distinct iconographic tradition.