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Debre Berhane Selassie

Debre Berhan Selassie an easy stroll 2km northeast of town. Despite its walls hosting the nation’s most vibrant ecclesiastical artwork, it’s the ceiling that captures most visitors’ imaginations. Think of Mona Lisa’s smile and multiply it 104 times!

Debre Berhane Selassie Debre Berhane Selassie

www.afewerktekle.com

A Dedicated Website for The World Most Honorable Maitre Artiste World Laureate IOM.CH Afewerk Tekle will be launched by StudioNet as part of its social responsibility program.

www.afewerktekle.com www.afewerktekle.com

Erta Ale, the living Shield Volcano

Erta Ale is a very remote and rarely visited shield volcano in the Afar region of East Africa.

Erta Ale, the living Shield Volcano Erta Ale, the living Shield Volcano

Mulatu Astatke

The Father of Ethio Jazz: Mulatu Astatke

Mulatu Astatke Mulatu Astatke

Churches in Ethiopia

Vestibulum convallis nisl vel purus ultrices porttitor. Proin in velit at ante rutrum ullamcorper. Maecenas congue hendrerit dignissim.

Churches in Ethiopia Churches in Ethiopia

Kay Kabaro: Simien jackal

The Ethiopian wolf is the rarest canid in the world (Sillero 2001), and is one of the world's rarest mammals.

Kay Kabaro: Simien jackal Kay Kabaro: Simien jackal

Beautiful Scenery of Ethiopia

Awasa , southern Ethiopia’s largest city, is 100km further south and sits on the shores of attractive Lake Awasa. With plenty of facilities, a great fish market and row boats to boot, Awasa is a great place to stop.  

Beautiful Scenery of Ethiopia Beautiful Scenery of Ethiopia

Gonder: Medieval castles of Ethiopia

The Center of Ethiopian art and culture Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635, is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches.

Gonder: Medieval castles of Ethiopia Gonder: Medieval castles of Ethiopia

THE BATTLE OF DOGALI

 

On 26 January 1887 a column of five hundred Italian soldiers was cut to pieces on the hill of Dogali in Ethiopia.

The news caused a tremendous stir in Italy. The battle has been started in the ambiguous uncertainty of the government’s instruction by the occupation of saati and Ua-a` in order to consolidate the Italian position at Massaua, where the Italians, in response to a British request had replaced the Egyptian in the control of the port. The action in itself limited run counter to the perfect declaration of intents which accompanied the Italian landing in Massaua Angered the Ethiopian governor of the district, Ras Alula, after requesting the Italian to withdraw from Saati attacked the fort with a large force. The commander of the garrison, short of supplies and ammunition, requested help from massaua. The governor General Gen`e Ordered Colonel De Cristoforis, who commanded the force at Moncullo, to march at ones to the relief to Saati with 540 men.

This order showed that Gene was quit unaware of tactical skill of Abyssinia and also seriously underrated Satti’s information about the largest enemy force in the area; he may even have believe that a detachment of trained European troops was more than a match  for a horde of Africa. De Cristoforis set out after unjustifiable delay the following day, thought scout brought repeated warning of large concentrations of Ethiopian troops and continued to advance till he found him self four houers later in the depression of Dogali, where he was attacked by five or six thousand of Ras Alula’s soldiers. Instated of retreating the Italian commander fell back on a low hill and sent massage for reinforcements. A second message was sent an hour latter when the Abyssinians had encircled the three Italian companies.

When the final assault came, to the roll of drum the Italian column, surrounded an all side, had no chance of escape. A column of reinforcements, terrorist by continual alarms came up when  the battle was over, reconnoiter hillside and withdrew before night fall with out even carrying the away wondered. Nearly 200 of the 430 victims died because of the failure of the rescue, while 91 soldiers most of them wounded, straggled back to the Italian outpost in the days that followed.

the Italian government skillful propaganda soon persuaded the majority to support the plan to send future troop to Massaua to avenge the nation honour: in effect a decision to embark on a full scale colonial war was leading, with illusion and hopes not entirely concealed, to the creation of an empire in Ethiopia. This was the position of the Depretis government which, despite the opposition and hesitation of the premier himself, had embarked on a timid colonial policy. This military involvement was to prove even more useful to justify the increasingly repressive and anti – social policy of the Crispi government which replaced Depretis in July 1887. the result was another tragic disaster at Adua in1896.

So sprang up the legend of the “vile ambush” in the “gorge of Dogali”, and the return of the wounded was celebrated at Naples as a sad and silent triumph. They where born twelve wagons through an immense crowd, rose and camellia petals where showered on them from the balconies, in absolute silence as requested by the organizing committee. The orators turned the defeat into a limpid testimony to Italian valour and the baseness of Ras Alula and his people. In this atmosphere of dismay, pride and patriotic exultation, whipped up and orchestrated by the government,

in 1888 the Education Ministry Boselli commissioned Michele Cammarano to produce a large painting of the battle of Dogali. Michele Cammarano   (Naples, 1835- 1920) was not however, an official celebratory painter, through he had already represented some important episode of the Risorgimento. Cammarano did not regard the commission as a form of recognition or accept the fanciful accounts of the battle then circulation. His conviction as a naturalistic painter impelled him to set out immediately for Abyssinia to study the local terrain, light, colours and costumes. After two years work on the large canvas- he wrote in a latter to his daughter in 1891- he realized the result was unconvincing and returned to the hill of Dogali, produce a large sketch and brought back to Italy. Then after reflecting on the new sketch and showing it to a number of trusted friends, he returned to Massaua and felt compelled to repaint the picture. “Fifteen month’s work two hundred or so figured carefully drawn … I returned to Dogali, recalled the Abyssinians, recalled the soldiers, more drawing, more studies, a new cartoon! … the first day I painted out a large area of canvas with white lead I felt as if a razor was cutting into my flesh.” After five years of study he took the painting back to Rome and finished it only in 1896, at the same time producing other painting to earn a living. In letters to his daughter, fully cited in the only monograph devoted to Commorano, the painter describes the significance of the scene: “it is the last phase of the sad drama with the 500 overwhelmed by that wave of Abyssinians. I had to study the way they fought, handed there weapons, their proud features. The Italians are making their last desperate resistance, the ground is une couche de morts, the setting is faithfully represented. That’s what’s in the painting.

The impressive composition is, in fact, surprisingly coherent and co- coordinated. The hill of Dogali not the narrow gorge of legendary ambush stretches to the right, with the Italian soldiers forming a square white with their uniforms, drawn up in files and receding in perspective. At the top, sheltered from the fore of the attack, are the park animals with munitions and supplies for the fort at Saati. The low point of view enables the artiste to accentuate the slight slope of hillside and also coincides with the scenes dramatic centre: it is set at the foot of Colonel De Cristoforis, who is grasping a spiral with one hand and striking at an Abyssinian warrior in an attempt to cut his way through to the enemy leader, distinguished by his rich garments and precious fabric, here shown trying to retreat protected by four warriors. In a brilliant stoke Cammarano reverse logic of events and depicts the defenders throwing themselves at their Abyssinian attackers: Colonel DE  Cristoforis bareheaded, guide the desperate attack and dominates the center of the composition his gleaming white uniform crossed by the deep blue of his officer’s sash. The four fallen Italian soldiers in the foreground of the scene reveal the extent of the tragedy. The arrangement clearly recalls Delacroix’s Liberty on the Barricades of 1830. The first of the fallen is an officer and the precise photographic rendering of every detail, from the spring clip of his scrap to the lining of his helmet; make the scene even more terrible. The same implacable clarity appears in the crack in the parched, rugged ground and the tough scrub vegetation. All around the Abyssinian exploit the terrain and low scrub to creep up on the Italian square. Here at list commorano indulges in some tough scrub on the right where an Abyssinian is showing wearing “a sciamma …a purely Abyssinian garment, white with a large scarlet band “ ; near him the painter placed another figure girt with a leopard skin. Equality exotic are the coloured scarves or mandils which the Ethiopians wear on their hands. Cammarano, almost documentary interest dose not prevent him from working as a true painter, drawing a Leonardo’s sketches  the battle of Anghiari in the melee just behind the group of the assailants of De Cristoforis.

The complexity of the painting does not exhaust its significance, which lies above all and once again in its emotional forces, which Corrado Maltese describe accurately “A true battle, despite and cruel, where white and black, victors and vanquished, licked in a decisive struggle, still unfinished, are never exempt from the human feelings of fury and exaltation of courage and terror”

 

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