Cross-form Icon with Our Mother Mary and her Beloved Son, Saint George and the Dragon, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection

painter : Gebre Merha Yohannes (Ethiopian, b. 1975)
carver : Azesum Yohale (Ethiopian, b. 1973)
Paint on wawa wood
Closed : 12 x 5 1/4 x 1 in. (30.48 x 13.34 x 2.54 cm)
Open : 12 x 10 1/2 x 1/2 in. (30.48 x 26.67 x 1.27 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
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In Ethiopia, hand crosses are used only by ordained priests and monks, but some crosses are also made to be sold to tourists. This hand cross has been cut in half vertically to create flat surfaces for icon paintings and contains additional images painted in window panels on the front and back sides of the two halves. Examples of Ethiopian hand crosses that contain painted icons can be found as far back as the 17th century, but it has always been a rare form because of the great skill that is required to carve the crosses and prepare the painting surfaces. [Nina Kay ‘19]

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