Four-Panel Icon with Images of Saint George, Saint Mary and Christ
Haleqa Hailu GebraMedhin (Ethiopian, b. 1959)
MediumPigment on parchment
DimensionsSheet : 12 3/4 x 33 in. (32.38 x 83.82 cm)
Credit LineGift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
LabelDating back to the 17th century, sensul are folding icons painted on parchment that can be used for private devotions. These sensul paintings juxtapose images of St. George and St. Mary with images of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, following an iconographic program also commonly seen in wooden icon paintings. Each painting is bordered by elaborate endless knot designs that symbolize eternal life. Called harag in Ge’ez, the ecclesiastical language of Ethiopia, such knot designs have been used in Ethiopian painting and manuscript illumination since the 14th century.