(Architecture Series) Solomonic Dynasty: Through Art and Architecture

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Emperor Yekuno Amlak, throne name Tasfa Iyasus, r. 10 August 1270 – 19 June 1285.

Artwork of Emperor Yekuno Amlak is an illustration of the king of Ethiopians kings who was a prince from the region of Bet Amhara province. Source: Mereja Forum Ethiopian News and Opinion.

Emperor Yagbe’u Seyon, throne name Salomon, r. 18 June 1285 – 1294.

Artwork of Emperor Yagbea Sion Battling Sultan of Ada. Source: “Le Livre des Merveilles,” reproduction in “Le Livre des Merveilles,” Marie-Therese Gousset.

Sons of Yagbe’u Seyon

Senfa Ared IV (r. 1294–1295)

Hezba Asgad (r. 1295–1296)

Ethiopian anthem in Amharic which has been completed manually in the typewriter. Source: Source:[https://david.national-anthems.net/et’.htm].

Qedma Asgad (r. 1296–1297)

A unique 800 years old Ethiopian Ancient Rock-hewn Church. This most astounding, and eye-catching church has been carved out of the red Mountain. Source: By Lito B. Zulueta.

Jin Asgad (r. 1297–1298)

Canon of Ethiopian Bible is a religious book which has been written in Geez language, and it is greatly significant to Ethiopian history. Source: tovrose.com.

Saba Asgad (r. 1298–1299)

15th-century icon of Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, 12th-century Zagwe dynasty King. Source: Stanislaw Chojnacki, Ethiopian Icons: Catalogue of the Collection of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (Milan: Skira, 2000), cat. 17.

Wedem Arad, Emperor  (1299–1314) 

This is a one of a kind map which incorporates climatic or zonal map on the left side of the sheet through which geographical information can be communicated. On the other side is “T-O” map. Source: A T-O World Map by Jacobus, P. (1503). Novissime hystoriarum omnium repercussions. Venetiis: Albertinus di Lissona.

Emperor Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia, 1314–1344, throne name Gebre Mesqel.

It is basically a medieval Ethiopian painting for propaganda in which fabulous horses can be observed. This portrays a heroic and strong monarchy. Source: Ethiopian Horses Elitre.

Newaya Krestos, throne name Sayfa Ar`ed sword of terror, 1344–1372.

Painting of Newaya Krestos harks back the stature and role of a strong and vigilant emperor. It is in the memory of the Solomonic dynasty and the fact that it was Newaya Krestos who rebuilt the ancient church. Source: Wikivividly.

Newaya Maryam, the property of Mary; throne name Wedem Asfare or Gemma Asfare, 1372–1382.

The artwork is regarding an empress who is considered as one of the most important figures of Ethiopia. The artwork contains the empress herself in the centre with her children. Source: Wikivividly.

Dawit I, David Emperor, 1382 – 6 October 1413.

Harp of Praise is a religious Marian text which is arranged for weekly prayers. Prayer Book: Arganonä Maryam (The Organ of Mary). Source: Louis V. Bell Fund, 2006.

Tewodros I, throne name Walda Ambasa “Son of the Lion,” 1413–1414.

Processional Cross is an exceptionally exclusive and significant Christian art. Source: Purchase, Elaine Rosenberg Gift, and funds from various donors, 1998. Metropolitan Museum of Art (US).

Yeshaq I or Isaac, throne name: Gabra Masqal II Gabra Masḳal, 1414–29.

Double Diptych Icon Pendant is an outstanding form of art which has been inspired by European. Sources: Rogers Fund, 1997. Metropolitan Museum of Art (US).

Andreyas, Abyssinia Emperor, 1429–1430.

Double-Sided Gospel Leaf is a compelling image which has enthused Ethiopian Christian communities for generations. Ethiopian art fused eastern Mediterranean and African styles into magnificent forms of art. Source: Purchase, Oscar de la Renta Ltd. Gift, 2006. Metropolitan Museum of Arts (US).

Takla Maryam “Plant of Mary”, throne name Hezba Nan, 1430–1433.

Illuminated Gospel is an illuminated manuscript of four Gospels which was created in the fourteenth century. Rogers Fund, 1998. Metropolitan Museum of Arts (US).

Sarwe Iyasus, “Army of Jesus”, throne name Mehreka Nan, 1433.

According to Amhara or Tigrinya peoples, processional crosses have a historical significance. Metal processional crosses are original creations which have been created through a lost-wax process to ensure uniqueness. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art (US).

Amda Iyasus, “Pillar of Jesus”, throne name Badel Nan, 1433–1434.

Processional Cross is a symbolic sign of Tigrinya peoples who belong to Ethiopia, Highlands region, Tigray. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Arts (US).

Zara Yaqob or Zera Yacob, Descendant of Jacob, 1399 – 26 August 1468.

Icon Triptych: Ewostatewos and Eight of His Disciples illustrate the culture of Amhara people belonging to Ethiopia, North of Gojjam province. Ethiopian visionary Ewost’atéwos is an original icon and a tribute to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Arts (US).

Baeda Maryam I, “He who is in the Hand of Mary,” August 26, 1468 – November 8, 1478.

Ethiopian Icons. Source: National Museum of African Art.

Eskender or Alexander, throne name Kwestantinos II, 1478–1494.

Amda Seyon II, “Pillar of Zion”, c. 1487 – October 26, 1494.

This art work has immense importance in the field of art and history because it remembers how king Ezana, an Aksumite ruler, was able to establish Christianity in the country and how the authority of Aksumite kings was checked by Christian principles and the belief that God always tears down unjust civilisations. Source: thinglink.com.

Na’od, 1494 – 31 July 1508.

Interior of one of the most famous churches of Ethiopia, “Abreha-we-Atsbeha”. An iconic and mesmerising interior as well as wonderful exterior. Source:Smarthistory.com.

Dawit II or Wanag Segad “to whom lions bow”, his birth name Lebna Dengel, 1508–1540.

On the left picture is ancient exterior, Bete Maryam, Lalibela, Ethiopia, 12th-13th century. Source: Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0); whereby in the right picture: interior, Bete Maryam, Lalibela, Ethiopia. Both are considered as striking and stuning work of art. Source: A. Davey, CC BY 2.0).

Gelawdewos, “Claudius”, throne name Asnaf Sagad I, 1521/1522 – 23 March 1559.

Annunciation, Ethiopien d’Abbadie, it is a Gospel book which represents the element of respect and admiration. Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Menas or Minas, throne name Admas Sagad I, 1559 – February 1, 1563.

Above is an artwork regarding Diptych who is with Mary and Her young Son Fringed by a Saint, Apostles and Archangels, Ethiopia. This art piece has been extracted from the late 15th century. Source: The Walters Art Museum.

Sarsa Dengel, throne name Malak Sagad I, “Sprout of the Virgin”, 1550 – 4 October 1597.

Yet another interesting and thought-provoking artwork in which Triptych is seen with Mary and Her Son. It is a scene from the Life of Christ and Saints, produced in Ethiopia. Source: The Walters Art Museum.

Yaqob I, throne name Malak Sagad II, c. 1590 – 10 March 1606.

Archangels Michael, Zamanfas Qeddus and Gabriel, 17th century, ink and tempera on parchment has been used to carry out this mesmerising art work. Source: The Walters Art Museum.

Susenyos I, throne name Malak Sagad III, 1572 – 17 September 1632.

This piece of art work is called as “Adoration of the Magi” which has been extracted from an illuminated manuscript. The elements used to create this unique work includes Leather Binding Tempera, Vellum. Source: Princeton University Art Museum.

Fasilides, His throne name Alam Sagad, 1632 to 18 October 1667.

A court writer, Entoto Raguel Church, Emperor Menelik II, and the Archangel Raguel can be seen in this compelling art work, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Source: smarthistory.com.

Yohannes I, throne name A’ilaf Sagad, c. 1640 – 19 July 1682.

This Ethiopian Orthodox Icon is an art work which reflects one long-running aspect of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian tradition and a holy aspect of it. It reflects the need to worship God and to remember the glory of God who has ordained victory over the forces of evil. Source: Antiquafrique.

Chancellery of Yohannes I (1667-1682) in the region of Gondar, Amhara. Source Unknown.

Iyasu I or Joshua I or Iyasu the Great, throne name Adyam Sagad, (1654 – 13 October 1706) r. 19 July 1682 – 13 October 1706.

Ethiopian Orthodox Wall Paintings, Azewa Mariam Monastery, Lake Tana, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Source: alamy.

Palace of Iyasu I

Tekle Haymanot I, “Plant of religion”, throne name Le`al Sagad , 27 March 1706 – 30 June 1708.

Icon of Luke 7:36-50; Source: The Archaeology News Network.

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Tewoflos or Theophilus, throne name Walda Ambasa, “son of the lion”, 1 July 1708 – 14 October 1711.

It is a painted fabric and graphic-novel style artwork which depicts John 19. Source: The Archaeology News Network.

“25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ 27 and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:25-27)

Yostos or Justus, throne name Tsehay Sagad, 14 October 1711 – 19 February 1716.

An illuminated manuscript. Source: Frank Miller-Special to the Statesman Journal.

Dawit III or Dawit the Singer, throne name Adbar Sagad, 8 February 1716 – 18 May 1721.

Figure on the left is showing St. George, Ethiopia’s patron saint and on the right is Virgin Jesus and Mary. Source: Ethiopian Religious Painting.

Bakaffa later Masih Sagad, throne name Aṣma Giyorgis, May 18, 1721 – September 19, 1730.

Iyasu II or Joshua II, throne name Alem Sagad, 19 September 1730 – 27 June 1755.

Known as “Pace Wildenstein”, this tempera on linen-covered wood is iconic Ethiopian art work from the 1700s. Source: Nazret.com.

Solomonic Dynasty through Art and Architecture- Continue

39. Fasil Ghebbi, 1603 – 18 October 1667 (aged 64), Reign (1632-18 October 1667, Son of Susenyos I.

Fasil Ghebbi

Royal library building

Royal archive building

Interior of Fasilides’ Palace

Fasil Ghebbi palace complex

This stunningly awe-inspiring and Nubian style castle was constructed by Emporer Fasil Ghebbi during his reign in the 1700s. The royal enclosure, known as “Emperor Fasilides’ Castle”, is located in Gondar, North Gondar Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia.

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(Architecture Series) Solomonic Dynasty: Through Art and Architecture

by Editorial Team time to read: 7 min