A Kingly Craft: Art and Leadership in Ethiopia

A Kingly Craft: Art and Leadership in Ethiopia

by Earnestine Jenkins

Paperback(New Edition)

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A Kingly Craft is a significant contribution to the interdisciplinary fields of African art history and visual studies. Ethiopian illuminated manuscripts have been regarded as remarkable expressions of Christian art and material culture. However, until recently, the elite art form of manuscript production has not been rigorously examined within specific social, cultural, and political contexts. This work is an innovative study of eighteenth and nineteenth century manuscript painting during a critical period of Ethiopian history known as the "Era of the Princes." Focusing on manuscripts comissioned by members of an influential dynasty in the province of Shewa, the book draws attention to the relationship between art and patronage. Shewan leaders commissioned books with illustrations that were increasingly narrative and secular, visually documenting historical events, everyday life at court, and the portrayal of political concepts. This analysis also explores how local leaders in an independent African kingdom used art to establish links with a glorious past, thereby legitimizing their authority and preserving their great deeds for the future.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761838890
Publisher: UPA
Publication date: 02/08/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 126
Product dimensions: 6.03(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.49(d)

About the Author

Earnestine Jenkins is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis. She has written on African and African Diaspora social and cultural history, gender, and visual studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1 List of Illustrations Chapter 2 Introduction: The Political and Visual Culture in Eighteenth Century Shewa: Chiefs, Patronage, and Early Images of Authority Chapter 3 Eighteenth Century Political Culture in Shewan Province: Chiefs, Wars, and Conquests Chapter 4 Shewa's First Patron of the Arts: Amha Iyasus and His Miracles of Mary Manuscript Chapter 5 Ruler and Saint: Asfa Wassan and Holy Man, Takla Haymanot: Secular Themes in Late Eighteenth Century Manuscript Painting Part 6 The Ninteenth Century: King Sahle Selassie and the Court Art Tradition Chapter 7 King Sahle Selassie and the Infrastructure of Patronage in Early Nineteenth Century Shewa Chapter 8 Painting Authority: A Double Portrait, Shared Power: the 'Queen Mother' and the King Chapter 9 Sahle Selassie Iconography, and the Ideal King: King David as a Model of Christian Leadership Chapter 10 A 'Killer of Heathens' and a Leader of Men: Sahle Selassie the Christian Warrior King Chapter 11 Duty and Leisure: King Sahle Selassie at Court Chapter 12 On a Patriarchal Note: Painting History and Honoring the Father in Sahle Selassie's Prayer Book Chapter 13 Coda: The Cultural Legacy of the 'House of Shewa' Part 14 Bibliography Part 15 Index

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