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Churches of Ethiopia: The Monastery of Narga Sellase [Hardcover]

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Item description for Churches of Ethiopia: The Monastery of Narga Sellase by Stanislas Chejnacki, Mario Di Salvo & Osvaldo Rainieri...

Narga Sellase's monastery sits on a tiny islet in the middle of Lake Tana, the great body of water in the centre of the Ethiopian plateau near to the imperial city of Gondar. Founded in 1748, Narga Sellase is one of the constellation of monasteries on the lake. They are the expression of a civilization which since the 4th century has known the Christianity on which its identity is founded.

The extraordinary beauty of the natural surroundings and the concentric space of the monastic complex enclose the holiness of the sanctuary, making Narga Sellase a strikingly suggestive place. The church is one of the masterpieces in the multi-millenial Ethiopian civilization-- an ancient but extant Christian enclave in Africa--, and is noted not only for the superb quality of the paintings which completely cover the walls of the maqdas, the sancta sanctorum, but also as a testimony to imperial devotion, as expressed by the prostrate figure of Queen Mentewwab, the foundress, depicted at the feet of the Majesty.

Narga Sellase plays an important part in the history of 18th century Ethiopian art, when European, Islamic, and Indian influences gathered into an artistic form which maintained its fundamental Ethiopian features, not only in the magnificent paintings but also in the decoration, well-integrated into the architecture, and the architecture itself.

Stanislaw Chojnacki introduces the historical and background references which characterize and distinguish Gondar's imperial court in the 18th century and its effect on art.

Mario Di Salvo fits the Lake Tana region into the story of Ethiopia's civilization, describes the architecture of Ethiopian churches in their rich topographical variety, and leads on to illustrate the monastic complex of Narga Sellase, its structure, its architectural, decorative and pictorial components.

Osvaldo Raineri presents, finally in a systematic way, the sources of the paintings, derived both from canonical texts and from Ethiopian tradition, and the new translation of an 18th century manuscript, written in ge'ez (Classical Ethiopian) of the Story of Narga.
Narga Sellase's monastery sits on a tiny islet in the middle of Lake Tana, the great body of water in the centre of the Ethiopian plateau near to the imperial city of Gondar. Founded in 1748, Narga Sellase is one of the constellation of monasteries on the lake. They are the expression of a civilization which since the 4th century has known the Christianity on which its identity is founded.

The extraordinary beauty of the natural surroundings and the concentric space of the monastic complex enclose the holiness of the sanctuary, making Narga Sellase a strikingly suggestive place. The church is one of the masterpieces in the multi-millenial Ethiopian civilization-- an ancient but extant Christian enclave in Africa--, and is noted not only for the superb quality of the paintings which completely cover the walls of the maqdas, the sancta sanctorum, but also as a testimony to imperial devotion, as expressed by the prostrate figure of Queen Mentewwab, the foundress, depicted at the feet of the Majesty.

Narga Sellase plays an important part in the history of 18th century Ethiopian art, when European, Islamic, and Indian influences gathered into an artistic form which maintained its fundamental Ethiopian features, not only in the magnificent paintings but also in the decoration, well-integrated into the architecture, and the architecture itself.

Stanislaw Chojnacki introduces the historical and background references which characterize and distinguish Gondar's imperial court in the 18th century and its effect on art.

Mario Di Salvo fits the Lake Tana region into the story of Ethiopia's civilization, describes the architecture of Ethiopian churches in their rich topographical variety, and leads on to illustrate the monastic complex of Narga Sellase, its structure, its architectural, decorative and pictorial components.

Osvaldo Raineri presents, finally in a systematic way, the sources of the paintings, derived both from canonical texts and from Ethiopian tradition, and the new translation of an 18th century manuscript, written in ge'ez (Classical Ethiopian) of the Story of Narga.


From The Book Jacket
Churches of Ethiopia

Narga Sellase's monastery sits on a tiny islet in the middle of Lake Tana, the great body of water in the centre of the Ethiopian plateau near to the imperial city of Gondar. Founded in 1748, Narga Sellase is one of the constellation of monasteries on the lake. They are the expression of a civilization which since the 4th century has known the Christianity on which its identity is founded.

The extraordinary beauty of the natural surroundings and the concentric space of the monastic complex enclose the holiness of the sanctuary, making Narga Sellase a strikingly suggestive place. The church is one of the masterpieces in the multi-millenial Ethiopian civilization-- an ancient but extant Christian enclave in Africa--, and is noted not only for the superb quality of the paintings which completely cover the walls of the maqdas, the sancta sanctorum, but also as a testimony to imperial devotion, as expressed by the prostrate figure of Queen Mentewwab, the foundress, depicted at the feet of the Majesty.

Narga Sellase plays an important part in the history of 18th century Ethiopian art, when European, Islamic, and Indian influences gathered into an artistic form which maintained its fundamental Ethiopian features, not only in the magnificent paintings but also in the decoration, well-integrated into the architecture, and the architecture itself.

Stanislaw Chojnacki introduces the historical and background references which characterize and distinguish Gondar's imperial court in the 18th century and its effect on art.

Mario Di Salvo fits the Lake Tana region into the story of Ethiopia's civilization, describes the architecture of Ethiopian churches in their rich topographical variety, and leads on to illustrate the monastic complex of Narga Sellase, its structure, its architectural, decorative and pictorial components.

Osvaldo Raineri presents, finally in a systematic way, the sources of the paintings, derived both from canonical texts and from Ethiopian tradition, and the new translation of an 18th century manuscript, written in ge'ez (Classical Ethiopian) of the Story of Narga.

Stanislaw Chojnacki: founder and curator of the University College Museum (1952-63), then of the Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa and co-director of the Journal of Ethiopian Studies (1963-75). In 1966 he founded the Committee for the Preservation of Old Ethiopian Paintings. He is the author of numerous highly authoritative essays on Ethiopian painting and his annotated catalogue of the icons of the Museum of Addis Ababa is soon to be published.

Mario Di Salvo: architect; he guided the expedition to Narga in 1997. The author of numerous essays on the anthropological evolution of the territories of various countries, as well as of different publications on various expressions of contemporary art.

Osvaldo Raineri: professor of Ethiopian Language and Ethiopian Institutions at the Pontificio Istituto Orientale in Rome, and also assistant at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. He is the author of numerous publications and critical editions of texts on Ethiopian history and classical literature.


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Skira
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 10" Height: 11.5"
Weight:   3.6 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 15, 1999
Publisher   Skira
ISBN  8881185296  
ISBN13  9788881185290  


Availability  0 units.


More About Stanislas Chejnacki, Mario Di Salvo & Osvaldo Rainieri


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mario Di Salvo is an architect and has published numerous essays on human evolution in various territories and countries. He is the author of Churches of Ethiopia (Skira, 1999).

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > General
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Regional > African
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Religious
5Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Ethiopia
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > General



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