View the miracle that took place in Aksum

Church paintings from the second half of the nineteenth century still display a debt to the second Gondarine style, but more and more frequently, modern people and events are shown alongside religious topics. Additionally, patrons were occasionally glorified in paintings from the Zagwe period onward, but around the start of the 20th century, this began to change, as evidenced by the painting of Emperor Menelik II (above) in the church of Entoto Raguel. Ethiopian painters with traditional training, like Qes Adamu Tesfaw, continued to collaborate with modernists after the Second World War. By the 1960s, icons and texts were mostly produced for the tourist industry, with an increase in the use of imported synthetic colors.

The removal of Emperor Iyosas marks the start of the time period known as Zemene Mesafint, or the Era of Judges. During this time, which lasted for about a century, the Solomonics’ standing, power, and authority decreased, and a number of regional warlords rose to prominence and engaged in conflict with one another for domination. Although historians have paid less attention to this time period, it appears to have been marked by a drop in artistic output. In terms of topics and forms, paintings from this era have a lot in common with those created in the second Gondarine style, but the color scheme used by the artists has once again shifted toward bold, simple hues.

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