Nationality & Life Dates:
Tempera and charcoal on cloth
47 3/4 x 29 3/4 inches
Gift of Sue and Mort Fuller
On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 102, African Collection
Byzantine, Roman, Arabic, and Judaic elements come together in this distinctively Ethiopian painting. Divided into two registers, it combines sacred and secular imagery. Below, six hunters shoot at a group of elephants, who are already wounded. Above, a winged saint watches over a nobleman and his companions, all on horseback. Before the nineteenth century, profane subjects such as hunting were forbidden to artists working for wealthy Ethiopians of the ruling class. Artists instead devoted themselves to religious themes. After this prohibition was lifted, however, hunt scenes became popular.