Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Decorative Arts : African Sculptures : Ife Style Bronze Head
Click to view original image.
Ife Style Bronze Head - PF.6237b
Origin: Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 26" (66.0cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Ife, the capital and religious center of Southwest Nigeria, was one of the first Sub-Saharan cities to emerge at the end of the first millennium AD. A substantial number of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculptures, made most frequently in terracotta although brass was also employed, were produced in the region between the 11th and the 15th centuries. This distinctive style is broadly referred to as “Ife”, even though some examples may come from other cities such as Owo. The brass objects especially are strikingly realistic, despite the fact they are almost certainly idealized portraits of dead kings, called Oni. The terracotta heads are more numerous and varied, no doubt a result of the comparative abundance and ease of working the material. Some of the faces, whether made of brass or terracotta, carry vertical parallel incisions, possibly representing scarification or body paint.

This bronze bust is a perfect example of the Ife style. The molding of the facial structure is incredibly naturalistic. The curves of the flesh are well depicted, especially apparent around the figure’s eyes and brow. The figure wears a tight fitting cap with a large projecting, phallic-like crest. Such caps and ornaments occur frequently in Ife portraiture. This crown probably symbolizes the figure’s royal status. A series of holes around his cheeks and mouth may have been used to attach hair to in order to complete the effect of a beard and moustache. The celebrated sculptures of Ife are among the most accomplished works of African art. This contemporary replica celebrates the beauty of the Ife style while simultaneous revealing the technical mastery of a new generation of African sculptors.
- (PF.6237b)


Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2022 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting