Artist Laureate Lemma Passes Away at 92

ADDIS ABEBA – The renowned Ethiopian painter Laureate Lemma Guya has passed away at the age of 92.

Born in 1921 in Ada’a Libena, Lemma was an expert in painting portraits on goat skin.



The artist had painted over 10,000 skin-mounted portraits over the past 65 years, including photographs of all 53 founding members of the African Union (AU).

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism expressed its condolences over the passing of “Teaching yourself Art” book author.

Lemma is considered one of the greatest Ethiopian painters and received praises for establishing an art gallery called Lemma Guya Art Gallery in Bishoftu Town. The gallery later promoted to African arts and training museums where potential African artists began to come for study.

Over the past 60 or more years, he had been discerningly capturing the life style of humankind in his unique skill of using ‘goat skin canvas’.

He has painted numerous portraits and avant-garde artistic works out of which the “African Monalisa of 21st Century” is one of his works via which Lemma displayed he has touched the peak of his calling-painting.

Lemma awarded for his works in Latin America and received honorary degree from Jimma University in 2015.

He is survived by three daughters and two sons.

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