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Eduard Zander, His Life and Work in Ethiopia

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Ethiopian Community in Britain

2a Lithos Road

London

NW3 6EF

United Kingdom

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Eduard Zander, His Life and Work in Ethiopia

Dorothea McEwan

The German artist, Eduard Zander, was a man of many talents – a painter and draughtsman, an architect and artisan, a naturalist and ethnographer. He went to Ethiopia in 1847, as an assistant to the botanist Georg Wilhelm Schimper, and stayed there for the rest of his life until his death in 1868, working as a military advisor first to Dejazmatch Wube, and then to the Emperor Tewodros II.

This talk will concentrate on his artistic output; what is left of it consists of drawings of Ethiopia in a naturalistic style.

From the beginning of the 19th century onwards, European travelers sketched landscapes, spectacular sites like the stelae park in Aksum, the rock churches in Lalibela or the impressive ranges of the Simien Mountains. They also made drawings of wildlife or scenes at court. Little by little, European explorers sketched life around them, important events like receptions by local dignitaries or picturesque scenes like a slave market.

What makes Zander’s oeuvre so special is the fact that he was a trained artist, painter and draughtsman who, as a resident in Ethiopia, looked at the country not as an exotic place, but as his home. So although only a small number of his pictures survive, they provide a unique window into the way of life in the majestic landscape of the Simien Mountains.

Dr Dorothea McEwan is an honorary fellow of the Warburg Institute, and an associate fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, and has recently published a catalogue raisonné of Zander’s work.

Doors will open at 6:00pm with complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits available.

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Ethiopian Community in Britain

2a Lithos Road

London

NW3 6EF

United Kingdom

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