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Ethiopian canon tables
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Ethiopian canon tables


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This fragmentary manuscript, comprised of four canon tables spread over one bifolium, would originally have been the introductory pages of a fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century Gospel book. Written in the Lake Tana region of Ethiopia, the pages contain canons I-V, which relate the concordance of the Gospels through a chart in which each number corresponds to a Gospel passage, a system originally created by Eusebius of Caesarea in the early fourth century. The numbers here, in keeping with a long tradition, are placed within an arcade of brightly decorated columns and arches. Common within Ethiopian canon table decoration are the curtains, which hang from the sides of the columns, and the interlace-filled arches adorned with birds. These pages provide an excellent example of Ethiopian canon table illumination from the early Solomonic period.
Exhibitions
  • Angels of Light: Ethiopian Art from the Walters Art Museum. Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton; Museum of Biblical Art, New York. 2006-2007.
Provenance Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Knopfelmacher, New York, acquired in Addis Ababa ca. 1960; Walters Art Museum, 1996, by gift.
Credit Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Knopfelmacher, 1996

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Period
late 14th-early 15th century (Solomonic)
Medium
ink and pigments on heavy yellowed parchment covered a modern portfolio of heavy archival paper
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
W.838
Measurements
H: 13 9/16 x W: 10 1/16 in. (34.5 x 25.5 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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