230235 - Large - 145 CM - ANTIQUE Ethiopian Painting on canvas - Ethiopia.


Very Rare, Antique Traditional church painting on Canvas from Ethiopia.

Ethiopian painting from Abune Gebre Menfes Kidus. 

Painted on cotton in the traditional Ethiopian colors. 

The dimensions of this painting are 145 cm x 90 cm.

This painting is very old and comes from a church in Lake Tana. The painting comes from an Italian collection and is dated before 1935. It has been in my collection since 2004.

Abune Gebre Menfes Kidus (Ge'ez:አቡነ ገብረ መንፈስ ቅዱስ; also familiarly called Abo) was an Egyptian Christian saint, and the founder of the monastery of Zuqualla. The fifth day of every month in the Ethiopian calendar is dedicated to this saint.

Manuscripts differ in relating the story of the life of Gebre Menfes Kidus and the miracles he performed. Unless otherwise stated, the account below is pieced together from various legends about his life.

When Gebre Menfes Kidus was 300 years of age, the Lord ordered him to go to Ethiopia to preach to the people there. He travelled there on a winged chariot, accompanied by his leopards and lions. In Ethiopia he founded the monastery of Zuqualla, in an extinct volcano, which is in the southern part of the former province of Shewa (now in Ada'a Chukala woreda).

Some texts say that, before establishing his monastery, Gebre Menfes Kidus was tempted by demons and devils for a period of hundred years, after which time the Lord exempted the Ethiopians from sin. Gebre left Zuqualla to wander to Kabd in order to stare at the heavens for seven months without blinking. The devil, in the shape of a raven, came to pick out his eyes. But Menfes Kidus was cured by the archangels Gabriel and Michael, who brought him back to Zuqualla.

Some manuscripts recount a visit to heaven, where Gabra Manfas Qeddus was kissed by the Holy Trinity. While he was still on his way back from heaven, three other saints arrived in Kabd to visit him -- Samuel of Waldebba, Anbas of Hazalo, and Benyam of lower Begemder—who were all accompanied by lions. As soon as the lions and leopards of Gebre Menfes Kidus noticed their fellow creatures, though, they devoured them. Nothing was left of them when Menfes Kidus eventually arrived on the scene. When Gebre ordered his animals to spit out the remains of their meal, the pets of the saints reappeared sound and healthy.

Three times a year Gebre Menfes Kidus returned to the Holy Land to receive Holy Communion: on Christmas Day, on the day of Jesus' baptism, and on Good Friday. There he spoke Hebrew but also all the languages of the world, a characteristic associated with the story of the tower of Babel.

He died on a Sunday, on the 5th of Maggabit. He was lying on the floor with his arms outspread, in the position of Jesus on the cross