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Tabot-form Icon with Images of Christ and Saint Mary


Artist
Daniel Berhanemeskel (Ethiopian, b. 1980)
carver : Zebe'aman Berhane (Ethiopian)
Date
1997
Medium
Pigment on wawa wood
Dimensions
Closed : 21 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (54.61 x 16.51 x 16.51 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
Object Number
2018.25.26

Label
Contemporary Ethiopian artists and dealers sometimes experiment with new and unusual icon forms as they seek ways to distinguish themselves in the country’s competitive tourist art market. The form of this icon is modeled after the canopied coffers called manbara tabot that contain the sacred altar tablets of Ethiopian Orthodox churches. The interior surfaces of the icon are painted with stories from the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Daniel Berhanemeskel first learned to paint from his father, Berhanemeskel Fisseha, who is one of Ethiopia’s leading church artists. He came to the United States in 1999 to attend Hope College and later went on to earn an MFA degree from Michigan State University. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Object Type
Painting