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Picture in Focus: A Modern Day Prophet (Micah 6:8) by Wayne Forte

October 28, 2020

Picture in Focus: A Modern Day Prophet (Micah 6:8) by Wayne Forte

On the eve of one of the most important presidential elections in U.S. history, I am presenting a new charcoal sketch from Filipino-American Artist Wayne Forte of a modern-day prophet willing to speak truth to power.  Messengers of God have never had it easy in calling people to repent. At a time when…

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Picture in Focus: St. Oscar Romero by Marie Romero Cash

October 25, 2020

Picture in Focus: St. Oscar Romero by Marie Romero Cash

We look this week at a "speaker-of-truth-to-power" of the modern era, whose assassination in March 1980 was a chilling replay of the 12th century martyrdom of Thomas Becket. Like the medieval “meddlesome priest," Oscar Romero, the Roman Catholic Archbishop  of San Salvador, set himself on a collision course with El Salvador’s right-wing military junta by issuing calls in weekly…

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Picture in Focus: St. Thomas a Becket by Sister Mary Corita Kent

October 18, 2020

Picture in Focus: St. Thomas a Becket by Sister Mary Corita Kent

In our continuing survey of art about prophets in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, we travel this week from biblical times to the Christian era to view a contemporary print of a 12th century English saint and speaker of truth to power, who was murdered for defending the rights of the church in a standoff with secular authority. Thomas…

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Picture in Focus: Jonah and the Great Fish by Unknown Kuna Artist

October 11, 2020

Picture in Focus: Jonah and the Great Fish by Unknown Kuna Artist

Jonah does not fit the typical image of a biblical prophet. In fact, he does everything possible to sabotage his mission of bringing repentence to Israel's enemies in Nineveh. He sets sail in the opposite direction until a violent storm at sea and three days spent in the belly of a great fish bring about a change of heart.…

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Picture in Focus: Elijah Taken Into Heaven by Rudolph Valentino Bostic

October 7, 2020

Picture in Focus: Elijah Taken Into Heaven by Rudolph Valentino Bostic

Elijah ranks second to Moses among the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures. He spoke words of truth with such power to King Ahab that the weak-willed ruler denounced him as the “troublemaker of Israel."  Elijah triumphed over the priests of the Canaanite God Baal in a bloody competition to bring the nation back to faith in Yahweh. Both prophet…

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Picture in Focus: The Burning Bush by Robert O. Hodgell

September 27, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Burning Bush by Robert O. Hodgell

The subject of this week's featured image from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is Moses, the greatest prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures. Born into slavery in Egypt, he was found drifting in a basket on the Nile by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised in the Egyptian royal court. After striking a blow for the subjugated Children of Israel,…

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Pictures in Focus: The Life of a Prophet by Ben-Zion

September 20, 2020

Pictures in Focus: The Life of a Prophet by Ben-Zion

During the next few weeks we will be looking at artistic studies of biblical prophets in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. The fate of those who spoke truth to power in the Hebrew Scriptures is a theme that features prominently in the work of Ben-Zion, an East European-born Jewish American artist who evolved an expressionistic style of art, peopled…

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Artist in Profile: David Hayward

September 13, 2020

Artist in Profile: David Hayward

Canadian Cartoonist David Hayward certainly fits the bill of a contemporary artist-prophet. He considers himself  to be "The NakedPastor"with a ministry “to bare my soul for everyone to see" and encourage honesty about faith issues. Hayward works with cartoons and satirical sketches like “a graffiti artist on the walls of religion.” He takes us with our shoes on onto…

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Artist in Profile: Antanas Kmieliauskas

September 6, 2020

Artist in Profile: Antanas Kmieliauskas

We journey north this week from Georgia in the Caucasus Mountains on the southern rim of the former USSR to Lithuania on the Baltic Sea to encounter another artist whose work challenged the atheistic Communist regime of the old Soviet Empire. Antanas Kmieliauskas is known as the Lithuanian Michelangelo for his skill in a wide variety of mediums. During…

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Artist in Profile: Irakli Parjiani

August 30, 2020

Artist in Profile: Irakli Parjiani

As we consider the topic of the artist as prophet, we travel through history this week from Hitler's Third Reich to the Soviet Empire, where artists posed a challenge to atheistic Communist regimes by making sacred art. Irakli Parjiani was a native son of Svaneti, a rugged Northwestern region of the Caucasus Mountain republic of Georgia, once part of…

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Artist in Profile: Wilhelm Geyer

August 23, 2020

Artist in Profile: Wilhelm Geyer

The modern day job description of a prophet can be summed up in four words: speak truth to power. In the weeks leading up to the American presidential election and the season of Advent, I will be featuring works from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, depicting prophets, old and new, and consider the theme of the artist as prophet.…

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Artist in Profile: David Wojkowicz

August 16, 2020

Artist in Profile: David Wojkowicz

It is encouraging to find artists around the globe who are working during the pandemic, making their images available on the internet. So far this year, Czech New Media Artist David Wojkowicz has posted ten "abstract biblical illustrations" on his website, adding to the 94 he has created since 2015. A student of theology, Wojkowicz came to digital art…

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Artists in Profile: Nikola and Milen Litchkov

August 9, 2020

Artists in Profile: Nikola and Milen Litchkov

We travel this week to Bulgaria to meet Nikola and Milen Litchkov, a father and son with a small family gallery in the capital city of Sofia who make sacred art. Father Nikola’s sculptures combine the raw expressiveness and rounded solidity of the French early modern masters, Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol, with the Socialist Realism in which he…

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Artist in Profile: Martinus Sumbaji

August 2, 2020

Artist in Profile: Martinus Sumbaji

It has not been possible during the pandemic to organize artistic events in my local community but the time spent in lockdown has given me the chance to reach out on the internet to art-makers around the world and get a glimpse of different genres of sacred art in the global village. In the coming weeks, I will be…

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Artists in Profile: Polish Poster Art

July 19, 2020

Artists in Profile: Polish Poster Art

In my final essay on artworks in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection made for a popular audience, we travel to Poland to look at the country's world-renowned school of contemporary poster art. The product of a mutually-beneficial arrangement between artists and state cultural agencies in the early years of the Communist regime in Post-World War II Poland, this innovative…

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Artists in Profile: Holy Land Bible Illustrators

July 5, 2020

Artists in Profile: Holy Land Bible Illustrators

My second essay on religious art created for a popular audience showcases works in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection from an intrepid group of artist-illustrators who travelled to Palestine at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the modern era in search of local color to give greater authenticity to illustrations intended for Bibles and other…

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Artists in Profile: French Belle Epoque Illustrations

June 21, 2020

Artists in Profile: French Belle Epoque Illustrations

The past few weeks in lockdown have given me an opportunity to delve more deeply into art history in preparing three new essay-length entries for the Schools of Sacred Art section. They showcase works in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, which were created specifically for a popular audience, ranging from posters and satirical prints to illustrated Bibles and Sunday…

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Image in Focus: The Raising of Lazarus by Brian Whelan

June 14, 2020

Image in Focus: The Raising of Lazarus by Brian Whelan

My series on images of Jesus the Healer in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection comes to an end this week with a painting depicting one of the greatest miracles in the New Testament, the raising of Lazarus from the dead in the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of John. After hearing his close friend, Lazarus, is dying, Jesus delays…

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Image in Focus: The Centurion's Servant by Frances and Richard Hook

June 7, 2020

Image in Focus: The Centurion's Servant by Frances and Richard Hook

Christ sets aside Jewish customs on social distancing to cure the ailing servant of a Roman centurion in this week's feaured image of Jesus the Healer from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. In Matthew's account of the miracle, the gentile army officer comes directly to Jesus to beg for help. In Luke's version of the story, Jewish intermediaries plead…

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Picture in Focus: Woman of Canaan by Sadao Watanabe

May 31, 2020

Picture in Focus: Woman of Canaan by Sadao Watanabe

We turn this week to an image of Jesus the healer from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, illustrating a miracle story in two of the Synoptic Gospels, which has long perplexed New Testament scholars, where Christ is rudely dismissive of a non-Jewish woman who appeals to him to exorcise her demon-possessed daughter. The writer of Mark describes her as…

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Picture in Focus: The Possessed by Fritz Eichenberg

May 24, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Possessed by Fritz Eichenberg

Next in our series on images of Jesus the Healer in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is a wood engraving  from German-American Graphic Artist Fritz Eichenberg, depicting one of the most dramatic stories in the Gospels, when Jesus exorcises a legion of evil spirits from a demon-possessed man and casts them into a herd of swine, which throw themselves…

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Picture in Focus: Christ Among the Lepers by Edward Knippers

May 17, 2020

Picture in Focus: Christ Among the Lepers by Edward Knippers

The Gospels record two occasions when Jesus healed people suffering from leprosy.  Jesus cures a lone leper with his touch in violation of Jewish laws about contact with the "unclean." Ten lepers call out to him and he heals them with an authoritative command. In this week's featured work on the theme of Jesus the Healer, American Artist Edward…

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Picture in Focus: The Hem of His Garment by Earl Stetson Crawford

May 10, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Hem of His Garment by Earl Stetson Crawford

This week's image of Jesus the Healer from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection illustrates one of the more intriguing accounts of his ministry of restoration, found in all three of the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus is making his way through a crowd to bring life to the daughter of Jairus, when he comes to a sudden halt. He senses "power…

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Picture in Focus: "Jesus, Son of David, Have Mercy on Me" by Jos Speybrouck

May 3, 2020

Picture in Focus:

As we continue our series on works from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection depicting the healing ministry of Jesus, my selection for this week is a chromolithograph from Belgian Artist Jos Speybrouck of Christ restoring sight to blind Bartimaeus, recorded in Mark 10:46-52. This is one of four accounts in the Gospels where Jesus helped the blind to see…

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Picture in Focus: Mark 1:33: "And the Whole Town Was Gathered..." by Arthur Ernst Becher

April 29, 2020

Picture in Focus: Mark 1:33:

For the next few weeks, I will be presenting images, new and old, from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection of Jesus the Healer. This theme was inspired by a recent photograph of the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro lit up to look like a doctor in blue scrubs and white…

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Picture in Focus: The Resurrection by Rania Kuhn

April 12, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Resurrection by Rania Kuhn

 

                        Christ is risen!
                        He is risen, indeed!

                        HAPPY EASTER

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Picture in Focus: The Crucifixion by Marianna Wisnios

April 5, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Crucifixion by Marianna Wisnios

Website visitors staying home during Holy Week might want to return to the first image I brought on-line for the Lenten season on February 23 of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem by Cypriot Iconographer Charalambos Epaminonda and follow Christ's journey to Calvary in subsequent postings, concluding with this new artwork of the Crucifixion for Good Friday by Polish Folk…

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Picture in Focus: Untitled (Instruments of the Passion) by Maurice Morel

March 29, 2020

Picture in Focus: Untitled (Instruments of the Passion) by Maurice Morel

As we move through the Lenten season, drawing closer to Good Friday, I have selected a new image this week  from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, which is a contemporary variation on a traditional motif of Passion imagery known as Arma Christi (the Weapons of Christ), especially popular in the Middle Ages, depicting the various instruments used to crucify…

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Picture in Focus: Veronica Wipes the Face of Christ by an Unknown Ethiopian Artist

March 22, 2020

Picture in Focus: Veronica Wipes the Face of Christ by an Unknown Ethiopian Artist

This Lenten season has taken on a different meaning for all of us who have withdrawn from our normal activities until the threat of the current viral pandemic has passed. This imposed quiet time offers the opportunity to enter more deeply into the mysteries of the Passion of Christ, perhaps, by focusing on works of art. We follow Jesus…

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Picture in Focus: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death by Ivanka Demchuk

March 15, 2020

Picture in Focus: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death by Ivanka Demchuk

As we follow Christ along his way of sorrow this season of Lent, we come this week to his sentencing to death, depicted in this icon by Ukrainian Greek Catholic Artist Ivanka Demchuk.  She belows to a circle of young West Ukrainian sacred art-makers, profiled in the New Iconography of Lviv page in…

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Picture in Focus: The Agony in the Garden by Otto Dix

March 8, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Agony in the Garden by Otto Dix

As we follow Christ through the events of his Passion, we journey this week from the Upper Room and the Last Supper to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he awaits arrest. This lithograph of the Agony in the Garden, a new addition to the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, is the work of German Artist Otto Dix, an eloquent,…

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Picture in Focus: The Last Supper by Andrzej Buchaniec

March 1, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Last Supper by Andrzej Buchaniec

As we follow Christ through the events of his Passion this Lenten season, I have chosen a new work from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection this week showing the Last Supper, a small format print by Polish Graphic Artist Andrzej Buchaniec now on view in the gallery of the East European Ex Libris…

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Picture in Focus: The Triumphal Entry by Charalambos Epaminonda

February 23, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Triumphal Entry by Charalambos Epaminonda

The Lenten season begins this Wednesday. In the weeks leading up to Easter, I will be presenting new pieces from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, depicting key events from the Gospel narratives of the Passion of Christ, beginning with an acrylic on wood panel painting of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem from Cypriot Iconographer more >>

Picture in Focus: The Book of Psalms by Sandra Bowden

February 16, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Book of Psalms by Sandra Bowden

The week's new addition to the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is an unusual three-dimensional piece from Massachusetts-based "Word" Artist Sandra Bowden, whose works often explore the visual aspects of the language of sacred texts. In creating The Book of Psalms, Bowden used an open book as her working surface, covering it with raised lettering suggestive of Hebrew script.…

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Picture in Focus: Stained Glass with Three Suns by Alfred Manessier

February 9, 2020

Picture in Focus: Stained Glass with Three Suns by Alfred Manessier

French Modernist Alfred Manessier was a master of free-form abstract compositions, represented in the gallery of his profile page in the Sacred Artists section by suites of color lithographs on Easter themes from 1949 and 1978 and Les Cantiques Spirituels of Spanish Mystic St. John of the Cross. This week's new addition to…

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Picture in Focus: The Hill of Miracles by Jose Francisco Borges

February 2, 2020

Picture in Focus: The Hill of Miracles by Jose Francisco Borges

This week's featured new artwork in the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is a large format print from Brazilian Folk Artist Jose Francisco Borges that I have long admired but only recently acquired, offering another whimsical glimpse into the grassroots faith of the hardy residents of Borge's home in the sertao region of Northeastern Brazil, an arid outback famed…

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Picture in Focus: "I Have a Dream" by Carl Dixon

January 26, 2020

Picture in Focus:

January is the month when Americans remember the life and work of Martin Luther King. I recently aquired this week's featured image of the civil rights leader from Mississippi Outsider Artist Carl Dixon for a church exhibition with artworks from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection on the theme, Voices in the Wilderness: Prophets Old and New in Contemporary Sacred…

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Picture in Focus: An Alphabet of Saints by Maria Romero Cash

January 19, 2020

Picture in Focus: An Alphabet of Saints by Maria Romero Cash

New artworks continued to find their way to the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection during the past year, when I devoted my weekly What's New section to highlights of my first ten years of art-gathering, so, I am pleased to launch my 2020 on-line art listings with an eclectic sample of these new pieces, different in style and mediums, which…

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Week Fifty-Two: Urban Nativity by Wayne Forte

December 29, 2019

Week Fifty-Two: Urban Nativity by Wayne Forte

Filipino-American Artist Wayne Forte created this last image in my tenth anniversary overview of highlights of the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection for the Advent art exhibition, O, Come All Ye Faithful, transposing the manger scene from Bethlehem to the mean streets of a modern American city, where sanitation workers stand in for the…

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Week Fifty-One: The Manger Scene by John Mosiman

December 22, 2019

Week Fifty-One: The Manger Scene by John Mosiman

As my year-long, 10th anniversary overview of highlights from the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection draws to a close, I've selected a Christmas-themed piece, recalling a genre of public religious art I remember well from my years growing up in a conversative Protestant faith community: the chalk art ministry. This serigraph of a silhouetted manger scene in shades of…

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Week Fifty: Madonna of the Woods by Charalambos Epaminonda

December 15, 2019

Week Fifty: Madonna of the Woods by Charalambos Epaminonda

Cypriot Iconographer Charalambos Epaminonda is a good friend of the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, one of the first five artists featured in my on-line art holdings. He created this week's image of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus at my request for an Advent art exhibition of modern depictions of the Madonna. Trained in the traditional conventions of…

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Week Forty-Nine: Nativity Set by Eckart Henzler

December 8, 2019

Week Forty-Nine: Nativity Set by Eckart Henzler

All art collectors face the problem of where to set limits. I strayed from my original intentions during the past ten years in looking for nativity scenes, which are the sole focus of many fine collections. There are so many splendid handmade pieces by international artisans the temptation proved too great to resist! German Woodworker Eckart Henzler creates “tree…

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Week Forty-Eight: The Adoration of the Shepherds by Jos Speybrouck

December 1, 2019

Week Forty-Eight: The Adoration of the Shepherds by Jos Speybrouck

As we enter the final month of my tenth anniversary year survey of highlights of the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, I have selected images for December in a variety of styles from international art-makers depicting the Birth of Christ, a theme well represented in my collection listings. The first featured work is a chromolithograph of the Adoration of…

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Week Forty-Seven: Annunciation III by Frank Humphrey Allen

November 24, 2019

Week Forty-Seven: Annunciation III by Frank Humphrey Allen

This week's featured Annunciation scene is an acrylic on wood panel painting by British Artist Frank Humphrey Allen. Discovering Allen's work at an exhibition in a resort hotel on the island of Cyprus over ten years ago inspired me to look for more pieces on sacred themes by other unknown contemporary art-makers, helping…

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Week Forty-Six: The Annunciation by Ulyana Tomkevych

November 17, 2019

Week Forty-Six: The Annunciation by Ulyana Tomkevych

There have been many surprise encounters with schools of sacred art, new to me, during the past decade of collecting. One of the most exciting discoveries came three years ago, when I uncovered a treasure trove of contemporary icons on the website of the ICONART Contemporary Sacred Art Gallery in Lviv, Ukraine. This week's image of the Annunciation is…

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Week Forty-Five: The Annunciation by Hermine David

November 10, 2019

Week Forty-Five: The Annunciation by Hermine David

This week's featured image of the Annunciation is one of the more unusual art objects to be found in the on-line Sacred Art Pilgim Collection, a glazed enamel on copper plate depiction of the Angel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary by French Artist Hermine David. Long overshadowed by her husband, the flamboyant Bulgarian-French artist, Jules Pascin, she has…

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Week Forty-Four: Sketch for The Annunciation at Fiesole by Maurice Denis

November 3, 2019

Week Forty-Four: Sketch for The Annunciation at Fiesole by Maurice Denis

As we continue my tenth anniversary survey of highlights of the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, I have selected artworks for the month of November on a biblical story, appropriate for the weeks leading up to Christmas--the Annunciation, recorded in Luke 1:26-38, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to tell her she had been chosen by…

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Pictures in Focus: Four Ethiopian Parchment Paintings

September 10, 2010

Pictures in Focus: Four Ethiopian Parchment Paintings

Four new scenes from the Life of Christ, painted on parchment, have just been added to the Ethiopian Icons gallery in the Schools of Art section. I don't know the name of the artist who created these beautiful pieces, but they are clearly by a different hand than the other sacred images in my Ethiopian art collection. This folk…

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