ABGESAGT Illustrated Manuscripts from Ethopia
The Art of Politics: Psalter Illustration in Medieval Ethiopia
Ein Vortrag von Dr. Jacopo Gnisci (Oxford).
The field of medieval Ethiopian manuscript illumination remains underdeveloped and marginalized. Suffice it to note that, to date, there are no books and just a handful of articles (none in English) on the subject of illuminated Ethiopic psalters. To make matters worse, much of the existing research, has focused on the formal features of Ethiopic manuscripts and on questions of "foreign influences," overlooking the socio-political and religious boundaries which affected the production of imagery during this period. In this presentation, I will provide an analysis of a group of portraits of David and Solomon that are found in Ethiopic psalters from the early Solomonic period (1270-1527). After showing how the Ethiopian tradition is related to other artistic traditions which developed around the Mediterranean Basin and in South Asia, I will highlight a series of unique features to demonstrate that the activities of medieval Ethiopian illuminators can only be understood by considering their communicative intentions and the political context in which they operated.