230713 - Ethiopian handpainted olive wood/leather coptic icon - Ethiopia.


Rare Ethiopia Coptic handpainted begin 20th century icon from the orthodox coptic Church in Ethiopia.

Size are; 16.5 cm x 10 cm when it is open.

This icon was collected between 1940 and 1950 and ended up in my private collection in 1985.

The richly hued biblical paintings of Ethiopian Icons primarily illustrate scenes from the old testament. Until the middle of the 20th century, the paintings of Christian Ethiopia remained virtually unknown outside its borders. Yet over the course of the past millennium, Ethiopian artists have produced a vast quantity of unique and creative icons, illuminated manuscripts and wall paintings in churches. 

By virtue of its geographical position, Ethiopian paintings belong to Africa, however, due to close contacts with the adjacent areas, their art incorporates elements of the Eastern and Western Christian artistic tradition, as well as those of Coptic and Islamic cultures and the cultures of the people of the Indian Ocean area. Ethiopian artists succeeded in embracing and transforming significant elements of these traditions, while their paintings remained a unique phenomenon deeply rooted in the African soil.

These icons are made of wood and painted panels, of stone, or a combination of both. They are used on personal altars or worn as a personal talisman for protection on a cord around the neck or tucked into a pocket. They are usually a collaboration between two types of artisans: the carver who makes the wood or stone case and a painter who draws upon a repertoire of biblical themes