Archive issues

Author: Magdalena Łaptaś   |   Pages: 105–120



The purpose of this paper is twofold: to identify an ‘enigmatic man’ represented on the right side of the Banganarti Anastasis painting as Abel and to exclude the identification of the figure as ‘Moses at the Burning Bush’. The ‘enigmatic man’ is young and he holds a stick in his hand, which seems to be the shepherd’s crook. Such an attribute is typical for images of Abel (a younger son of Adam and Eve killed by his brother). The absence of the Manus Dei and sandals makes the identification of the figure as ‘Moses at the Burning Bush’ a bit unlikely. In Banganarti, Abel is set in a separate field, what makes this image unusual. Solitude of Abel brings to mind an apocryphal Ethiopic Book of Enoch. In this text the lonely spirit of Abel cries and awaits for the Resurrection and condemnation of Cain’s offspring. The image from Banganarti allows to state that some apocryphal texts had an impact on Nubian painting and for this reason several murals are unique on the background of Byzantine art.



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