Agegnehu Engida

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Agegnehu Engida (1905 in Mahdere Maryam - 1950[1]) was an Ethiopian modern artist. He blended abstraction, expressionism, and surrealism, but maintained a style that was "distinctively Ethiopian."[2]


As part of Emperor Haile Selassie's education program, Agegnehu was granted a government scholarship to study at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France from 1926 to 1933.[2] After his return from Europe, Agegnehu held many art exhibitions. He also worked on commissions for military uniforms, birr currency designs, church murals and portraits.[2]

In 1941, Agegnehu became the assistant director of Ethiopia's new Department of Fine Arts in the Ministry of Education and Fine Arts.[2]

He died of unknown causes in 1950, shortly after finishing the painting Twelve Donkeys.[3]

Two of his portraits are housed in the National Museum of Ethiopia: a self-portrait and a portrait of Aster Mengesha.[2]


  1. ^ "ORTMAA" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Continuity and change: three generations of Ethiopian artists". Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  3. ^ "Zerihun Yetmgeta: An Ethiopian Modernist". Retrieved 2008-05-28.