20th Century Ethiopian Battle Scene African Tribal Folk Art Painting
African Ethiopian painting imported to Italy by a diplomat during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, in the late 1930s. This tribal folk art painting depicts a battle scene and the canvas is mounted on a parallelogram-shaped frame.
It is a large battle painting centered by the huts of a village. Two large ranks of soldiers face each other armed with sabers and bayonets in addition to the presence of heavy artillery, commanded by dignitaries on horseback.
In the canvas there are captions in the Amharic language among which we can decipher the only… fitewrari habteghiorghis…. probably referring to Habte Giyorgis the Ethiopian prime minister from 1909 to 1927 (the year of his death).
Listed measurements below refer to the height and the max width from left upper edge to the lower edge on the right side.
Dates back to the late 1930s. The canvas shows minimal tears and signs of wear but we can customize a restoration.
The human figures are characterized by unrealistic proportions of the head and body and depicted in static positions. This sense of fixity makes this battle painting easily intelligible and suggestive.
A particularly fascinating aspect of Ethiopian art was its adherence to the expression of an objective truth, independent of time and space. The figures are represented in what are considered their true immutable form. At the height of its stylistic perfection, Ethiopian art gave up the illusion of volume, depth and perspective.
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