Building Faith: Ethiopian Art and Architecture during the Jesuit Interlude, 1557–1632

Keywords: Ethiopia, Jesuit, art, architecture, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, style, iconography, early modern

Abstract

This dissertation examines the relationship between royally-sponsored Roman Catholic and Ethiopian Orthodox art and architecture during the 1557 to 1632 Jesuit Ethiopian mission. The first part of the dissertation examines key religious and secular sites, demonstrating how these structures combined elements drawn from classicizing architectural treatises, the Portuguese estilo chão, and Ethiopian architecture. The second part of the project assesses the role of books, prints, and religious art as tools of conversion and as artistic models. In contrast to studies that posit that European visual culture supplanted the Ethiopian during the mission era, the dissertation argues that the period’s art and architecture demonstrates the Jesuit strategy of cultural accommodation, and that far from being apart from Ethiopian art history, it shares stylistic and iconographic hallmarks with the so-called “Gondärine style.” 

Author Biography

Kristen Windmuller-Luna, Princeton University (alumna)
Kristen Windmuller-Luna, PhD is a curator and historian of African arts based in New York City. She holds a BA in the history of art from Yale University (2008), and an MA and PhD (2016) in art and archaeology from Princeton University, where she wrote the dissertation Building Faith: Ethiopian Art and Architecture during the Jesuit Interlude, 1557–1632. Her research interests include cross-cultural exchange, early globalization, transcultural art, and the depiction of non-Western cultures in museums and popular media. She has published articles on Ethiopian art and architecture in Journal18: a journal of eighteenth-century art and culture, The Journal of Jesuit Studies, and The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.
Published online
2018-03-28
How to Cite
Windmuller-Luna, K. (2018). Building Faith: Ethiopian Art and Architecture during the Jesuit Interlude, 1557–1632. Aethiopica, 20(1), 343–345. https://doi.org/10.15460/aethiopica.20.1.1020
Section
Dissertation abstracts