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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Ibriet Bronze Sculpture of a Man
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Ibriet Bronze Sculpture of a Man - PF.4806
Origin: Ivory Coast
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 14.75" (37.5cm) high
Catalogue: V26
Collection: African
Medium: Bronze


Location: Great Britain
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Description
Stylistically this remarkable bronze statue bears some resemblance to those made by the Baga Tribe of Guinea. The body is extremely elongated; while the face, hands and feet are more zoomorphic than human. However, there is an expression in the eyes and open lips, which are very human indeed, and quite powerful. This combination of human, animal and abstract elements creates a figure that is singularly 'real'. As in any true work of art it transcends normal reality to express its own character, which seems perfectly acceptable to the viewer because of its profound sense of equilibrium and balance. The tubular body and coiled neck leads the eyes directly to the face; to hear and feel what the figure has to tell us. Perhaps this statue was designed as an altarpiece representing a generic ancestral being. There may be a fertility connection given the prominent genitals. The aesthetic power of this statue is equaled by its elegance, which is due to the sculptor's considerable skill, and by something mysterious and indefinable. - (PF.4806)

 

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