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FROM THE TECHNOLOGICAL ANALYSIS TO THE HISTORICAL STUDY OF THE MURALS OF QORQOR MARYAM (13TH C. AD?) [Abstract ID: 0213-07]
In the course of a multidisciplinary research project on the process of creation in Ethiopian painting – considering materials, techniques, iconography and history – we focus on murals of the Qorqor Maryam rock-hewn church. Carved out of an Addigrat sandstone formation, at the top of a cliff, the church of Qorqor Maryam is one of the largest in the region, almost completely decorated by mural paintings associated to carved figures. If they are not clearly dated, they can be seen as one of the earliest preserved testimony of the most ancient Christian mural paintings in Ethiopia. This paper will present the results of the analysis of the samples of the different materials making up the paint layers, the first observations on the process of excavation, carving and painting. It will bring them face to face with the stylistical and iconographical data to reconsider the place of this particular church in the network of rock-hewn and built painted churches of the region and in the history of the painting in Ethiopia.