African Ethiopian Tribal Folk Art Painting 20th Century

Ancient Ethiopian painting imported to Italy by a diplomat during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, in the late 1930s. This genre scene painting is divided into eighteen squares bordered by a black frame and divided into three lines. The scene depicts the story of a couple with three children through the stories of their domestic life and their rural activity; each box has a caption written in the Amharic language. In the first line: they grind; they drink; …illegible… while they spin; they bring water.

In the second line: comb, cut your hair; treats your teeth; grind; they bring the wood; they bring water.

In the third section: they prepare beer; they prepare bread; they cook bread; they prepare lunch; while they eat; while they drink. This canvas is painted in shades of ocher and is mounted on a ebonized frame. Dates back to the late 1930s. The canvas show minimal tears and signs of war.

The human figures are characterized by unrealistic proportions of the head and body and depicted in static positions. This sense of fixity and the narration in successive chapters in domestic environments make the paintings 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.

Period: 1900

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