Our Mother Mary and Her Beloved Son
Haleqa Hailu GebraMedhin (Ethiopian, b. 1959)
MediumPigment on parchment
DimensionsSheet/image : 11 3/4 x 8 3/4 in. (29.85 x 22.23 cm)
Credit LineGift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
LabelThis single leaf parchment painting was made for the tourist market but derives from an older tradition of parchment paintings that were used in illuminated manuscripts. The circular throne on which Mary sits in this image is not typically seen in Ethiopian painting and may have been copied from a different Orthodox painting tradition. Many contemporary Ethiopian artists are exposed to foreign art traditions through books, magazines and the internet and some take inspiration from those sources to experiment with new styles, compositions and color schemes. Art intended for church use must follow prescribed conventions, but art made for tourists can be more inventive.