Saint Gabriel the Archangel
Gabra Sellase Abdi Waldamaryam (Ethiopian, early 1900s-1986)
MediumPaint on cardboard, cotton thread
DimensionsWork : 12 1/2 x 9 x 1/8 in. (31.75 cm x 22.86 cm x 3 mm)
Mat : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Credit LineGift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
LabelAngels play an important role in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and are portrayed frequently in Ethiopian religious paintings. This painting depicts the archangel Gabriel, who appears as God’s messenger in the holy texts of all three Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church considers Gabriel a saint and celebrates him with a feast day on the 19th of every Ethiopian month. He is considered a protector of homes and churches and is often depicted in Ethiopian art together with the archangel Michael as a guardian of Christ and the Virgin Mary.