Queen of Sheba and King Solomon

Qes Adamu Tesfaw, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, 2003, oil on canvas, The British Museum. London.

Adamu Tesfaw is one of Ethiopia’s most well-known contemporary artists. He was educated as a priest in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and in the late 1950’s he left the church to pursue a painting career. He continued to paint devotional pieces but also started painting scenes of contemporary life and events in Ethiopian history. This is a very large painting, about five feet by ten feet with figures about two feet tall. Queen Makeda and Solomon stand greeting each other in the center surrounded by courtiers playing musical instruments in celebration. According to The Kebra Nagast, a royal chronicle compiled in Abyssinia in the 14th century, King Solomon and Queen Makeda of Sheba had a son, Menelik I, who would become the first Emperor of Ethiopia.

sheba-solomon-tesfaw

Christian denomination founded in ancient Ethiopia

Of or belonging to any of several branches of Christianity, especially from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, whose adherents trace their tradition back to the earliest Christian communities. Lowercase ("orthodox"), this term means conforming with the dominant, sanctioned ideas or belief system.

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