Exhibition, Museum of Russian icons, U.S.A
Monday 29 December 2014, by Icon Network
The Vibrant Art and Storied History of Ethiopian Icons
60 Icons & Artifacts from a Private European Collection_On View January 23 through April 18, 2015
The Vibrant Art and Storied History of Ethiopian Icons illustrates the Christian traditions of this legendary East African nation. The exhibition features 60 small-scale icons, triptychs, and illuminated manuscripts from the 16th century to the present. Several cast-brass processional crosses with intricate designs from the Museum’s own collection, as well as some small pendant crosses fundamental to sacred vestments, icons and a stone-carved triptych are also included.
Curator: Dr. Marc Loerke, Germany
The exhibition illustrates the Christian traditions of the East African nation, Ethiopia. It features 60 small scale icons triptychs, larger icons and illuminated manuscripts. There will also be several cast- brass hand-held processional/benediction crosses with intricate designs for the Museum’s own collection as well as some small pendant/pectoral crosses worn by priest as part of their sacred vestments. The Museum has a small collection of icons and stone carved triptych which will be on display. The dates of the icons and objects range from the 16th century to the present.
Ethiopian iconography is closely related to the simplified Coptic version of Late Antique and Byzantine Christian art. It is typified by stylized, graphically bold figures with large, almond-shaped, eyes. Colors are usually bright and vivid. The majority of paintings are religious in nature, often decorating church walls and bibles. From the 16th century, Roman Catholic church art and European art in general began to exert some influence. However, Ethiopian art is highly conservative and retained much of its distinct character until modern times. The production of illuminated manuscripts for use continues up to the present day. Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, where there has long been an Ethiopian clerical presence, also allowed some contact with a wider range of Orthodox art.