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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Benin : Benin Style Bronze Sculpture of a Leopard
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Benin Style Bronze Sculpture of a Leopard - PF.4919
Origin: Southcentral Nigeria
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 4.5" (11.4cm) high x 8.75" (22.2cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Benin
Medium: Bronze

Location: UAE
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Benin art is essentially royal art, with objects made for kings and used by them as visual symbols of wealth and power. Due to the important role of art only the finest sculptors were used, often masters in the working of bronze. Such talent is apparent in this very charming sculpture of a wild cat, resembling a leopard. Though quite simple in form, there is a wealth of detail revealing both the character of the animal and the inventiveness of the artist. Most delightful is the way the tail cleverly drapes over the back to gently rest on the head. This is not only amusing, but also makes the entire sculpture more uniform and harmonious in appearance. A multitude of small, perfect circles creates the effect of a leopard's skin. The face is wonderfully feline, with its almond eyes, long curved whiskers and ears pulled back as if listening intently for signs of danger or prey. There is a strong feeling from this graceful animal that the person who made him loved his work; and this affection, as well as a deep knowledge of bronze, makes this cat forever endearing. - (PF.4919)


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