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Gondar Homiliary
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Gondar Homiliary

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This Homiliary was created in Gondar, Ethiopia, during a period of artistic flowering in the late seventeenth century. The Imperial court and its accompanying aristocracy took up permanent residence in Gondar at this time, and the taste of these wealthy patrons for paintings and extensive image cycles is exemplified by this richly illuminated manuscript. The text, a Homiliary focused on the Miracles of the Archangel Michael, combines liturgical readings with forty-nine brightly colored renderings of God, St. Michael, and the miracles related in the text. Sections of the manuscript would have been read aloud on monthly feast days of the Archangel, and the images would have punctuated the readings. The artists were likely trained as painters, rather than solely as manuscript illuminators, and their art can therefore be linked stylistically to contemporary mural painting.
  • Ethiopian Art at The Walters. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996.
  • 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 Gäbrä and Giyorgis Sellase [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Kidanä and Sählä Maryam [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Joseph Knopfelmacher Collection, New York, No. 2 [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, Wright Gallery, New York, 1995-1996; Walters Art Museum, 1996, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the W. Alton Jones Foundation Acquisition Fund, 1996

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late 17th century (early Gondarine)
ink and pigments on medium weight/quality parchment with yellowed edges between fabric-covered wooden end boards
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
H: 10 1/4 x W: 9 1/4 x D: 3 1/2 in. (26 x 23.5 x 8.89 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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