According in Ethiopia date back to the time

to the tradition the introduction of Christianity in Ethiopia date back to the
time of the Apostles, i.e. there were than a few Ethiopian believers, in the
acts of the Apostles 8:26-40, the Eunuch of queen Candace went to Jerusalem to
worship and was baptized by Philip the deacon. The Ethiopians returned home
officially Christianity was introduce and declared as a stat religion during
the 4th century. Starting from that period the expansion of
Christianity was supported by state and it riches Biigemdir during the reigns
of Amede siyon and Yishaq.2

The out ward
movement of both church and state were most active in the reigns of Amede
siyon(1314-44) and Yishaq (91413-30) who were most outstanding military leader
of the kingdom their campaigns pushed the Christian frontier far in to the
heart of the Muslim dominant areas beyond the Awash in the east ,the rich
sidama countrybetween the lift bank of the Abbay and the lake region of the
rift valley in the south, and the Agaw and felash country consisting of Gojjam
and what is today the province of Biigemdir in the west and in the north west.3

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dispersal of the leading members of Diibra Asbo also contributed to this vital
process of the expansion of the Church in this direction. Some of them are said
to have settled eventually in the districts of Diimbya and Biigemdir, and on
the islands of Lake Tana4.

Anais Wion on her article Why Did King Fasiledes Kill His Brother? Sharing
Power in the Royal Family in Mid-Seventeenth Century Ethiopia clearly stated
that the confrontation of the two brothers to control the power after the death
of their father and the role of Qoma fasiledes monastery on the confrontation,
she also see when? Haw? And by whom Qoma Fasiledes was founded and also on her
PHD thesis, In confin the fire, in the center paradise”Qoma
fasiledes, a royal monasteryin Ethiopia of the 17th century,5writes
about the murals of Qoma in the light of two other sets:Abba Antonius
and Däbrä Sina Gorgora  in this part of
her thesis she says that this set of painting is exceptional for several
reasons first by his dating,between 1640 and 1650 which makes it the witness of
the “first Gonderyan” and the number of images that depicted in the wall of the
Maqdas also very high and it is also the only prototype of the “first
gonderian” style of paining because the Däbrä Sina Gorgora  is restored their dating remains ambiguous because the only
available element is an inscription on the west wall of the mäqdäs indicating
that the commanditaire est wäyzäro Mälakotawit while the Abba Antonios mural was completely
erase from the wall and totally replaced by the new images 6she
also published the complete murals of the painting of the Maqdas accompanied by
descriptive commentary but my research will differ from her, because her work
is a descriptive commentary with comparing the three first gonderian paintings
and my research will include other things.

Different scholars write their research on painting in different areas of
the country, Abebaw Ayalew, he is one of Ethiopian scholarhe conduct a research
on the history of painting in east Gojjam in the 18th and 19th
his focus was on the “second gonderian” style of painting. On his research he
briefly discuss on the overall history of painting of east Gojjam including the
formal characteristics of the “second gonderian” style of painting in panels,
wall and miniature in east Gojjam during the 18th and 19th
century and their formal and compositional characteristics of the paintings of
the period but his research was delimited on the east Gojjam only and his time
frame was in the 18th and 19th century.

Mario Di Salvo, by his work churches of Ethiopia he studied the murals of
Narga Sellase monastery to examine the cycle of painting according to him above
all study both as a phenomenon of Ethiopia art and also in their relationship
with art outside Ethiopia, Christian and non Christian8

Marian E. Heldman, studied on the work of Fre’seyon in titled the Marian
icon of the painter, her book was focused on the work of a single painter and
she briefly discussed on the religious and political relation of the state,
identify the source of patronage and centre of artistic production, a
description and analysis of his panel painting and also she investigates the
influence of foreign paintings onFre’seyon work.9

On the book called the African Zion, the sacred art of Ethiopia, in her work
the late Solomonic period from 1540-1769 Heldman says that the origins of the
first Gondarian style are unknown. Gondar itself seems the most likely
location: the style was fully developed by 1665 and was still followed in the
early 18th century.10

Stanislaw Chojancki, he is a well known foreign scholar on the study of
Ethiopian painting he writes different articles and published the book called
the major themes in Ethiopian painting. According to him the traditional
painting of Christian Ethiopia is virtually unknown except to a small group of
interested people.11

He also added the idea
that Ethiopian art is neglected in Europeans, Ethiopian paintings
didn’t publish in Europe because of different reasons including their remotenessthat
for centuries lived on their African high plateau though never entirely isolated.
Indeed, the very existence of Ethiopian painting was hardly suspected. Yet
during over ten centuries of artistic activity the Ethiopian produced a vast
corpus of illustrated manuscripts, church murals and paintings on wood which
are outstanding culturally and aesthetically. 12

On his book major themes in Ethiopian painting asked a question why
Ethiopian painting isunique. And he answers there are three elements that are
the Ethiopian statecraft, introduction of Christianity and it appear in African
soil.When missing one element among those as we know Ethiopian painting is
could not have exits.13

In the case of painters and their training, Ethiopian painters are mostly
the clergies, manuscript writers and sometimes the royal family and they
studied on their personal effort.

According to Stanislaw
Chojancki, little is known about the training of the painters. A painter’s
guide similar to that of the Byzantine one has not been recorded in Ethiopia
and probably did not exist. The training was conducted on a personal basis,
that is, the master thought his pupils the skills which he himself learned from
the others orally.14

Generally Chojancki try to investigate about the flight in to Egypt: A
themes from the infancy of Christ, the Holy Trinity and representation of the
ancient of days, the imagery of the virgin Mary, the virgin of saint Maria
Maggiory, dormition and assumption of the blesses virgin, the crowned virgin
and her coronation, European painters in the 15th and early 16th
century Ethiopia,and the art of Shawa in the 18th and 19th
century,notes on the art in Ethiopia in the 15th and early 16th
century, Nimbi in Ethiopian painting their chronology and significanceare some
of his works in Ethiopian painting. But his papers mainly focused on manuscript
and panel paintings of Tigray, around Gondar, Gojjamand Shawa.

Otto , A, Jager  also works on
Ethiopian manuscript painting, on his article he says that Ethiopian painting
may be the product of the artistic  sense
and skill of the kushites and religious monotheistic dominance of the Semites.15He
also works on the periodization of Ethiopian painting.

According to Claire
Bosc-Tiesse, on his article A Century of Research on Ethiopian Church Painting:
A Brief Overview, in 1971, the French National Centre for Scientific Research
sent Claude Lepage, a specialist in Byzantine Art, to visit churches.
Travelling all around the country, Lepage began an extensive study of Ethiopian
paintings of the periods prior to the 16th – century. For example, he presented
some major sets of murals like that of Gännätä Maryam dated from the period
1270-1285 through the representation of its founder, King Yïkuno Amlak. He also
continued with similar studies initiated by Jules Leroy on the iconographical
origins of the more ancient Ethiopian paintings and tried to discern in the
paintings of Ethiopian manuscripts testimonies about the first Christian
iconography of Palestine.

At the same time,
French scholar took specific periods at the focus of their studies Claude
Lepage was, for example, working on the medieval period, Guy Annequin on the
Gondarine period, and Jacques Merlier’s had interest in the magical scrolls.
Major discoveries were reported including Guy Annequin’s archaeological
chronicle of the years 1960 to 1964 published in the Annales d’ethiopie.16

Claire Bosc-Tiesse also
says that if travelers sometimes commented about what they felt while looking
at Ethiopian painting, their comments concerned the history of the Western
perception of Ethiopian paintings and not the history of the studies made on a
particular art. In the same way Ethiopian texts talking about paintings are
primarily concerned with the manner they are considered from the perspective of

The researcher agree
with Claire Bosc-Tiessé, idea and the researcher will try to investigate things
based on different perspective including their social, cultural, political as
well as religious meaning and their functions by using the formal analyses,
iconological description and iconology.

1 Sergew Hable Silasie, Ancient
and Medieval Ethiopian History to 1270,  (united
printers, Addis Ababa). P 97

2Taddesse Tamerat, Church and
State in Ethiopia From 1270-1540, (Clarendon press, Oxford, 1972). P 20

3Taddesse Tamerat,(1972), P 20

4Basset, R., Etudes sur l’histoire
d’Ethiopie as sighted Taddesse Tamerat, (1972),P 194

5Anais Wion, “In Confin  the Fire, In The Center Paradise” Qoma
Fasilädäs, A Royal Monastery in Ethiopia Of The 17th Century. University of
Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne African Research Center (2003)

Wion, (2001) pp. 279-308.

7 Abebaw Ayalew, A history of
painting in east Gojjam in the 18th and 19th century: A
study of the “second Gonderian  style” of
paining, A thesis presented on the school of graduate studies of Addis Ababa
university, (june 2002 )

8Mario Di Salvo, Churches of Ethiopia,
the Monastery of Narga Sellase (palazzo casati stanpa, 1999)

9 Marian E, Heldman, The Marian
Icon of the  Painter Fre seyon: a Study
in 15th century Ethiopian Art, Patronage and Spirituality
(Wiesbaden: harrasowitz 1994)

10 Marian E, Heldman, the African
Zion the sacred art of Ethiopia, the late solomonic period 1540-1769.( Yale
university press, new Haven and London, 1993 ). 

11Chojancki.  Major themes in Ethiopian painting. p 15

12Chojancki, Major Themes in Ethiopian
Painting. p 17



15 Jager. The manuscript paintings
of Ethiopia, Ethiopian observer, (journal of independent opinion, economic,
history, and the arts, vol. 4. No 1,February, 1960)

16Claire Bosc-Tiessé, A Century of Research on Ethiopian Church
Painting: A Brief Overview
Journal of Ethiopian Studies,Vol. 42, No. 1/2 (June-December 2009), pp. 1-23