African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bronze Benin

Bronze Benin (N° 25189)

Subject whose morphology refers to the dwarves of the king's entourage. Dwarfs made their appearance at the Benin court in the 15th century, not only for diversion, but also for surveillance. Occult gifts were indeed attributed to them. According to Fagg, these characters were also acrobats and illusionists. Their bronze figures were to adorn the altars of the ancestors. Abraded brown patina. In African art, the art of Benin is described as court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as Oba.
Before the destruction of the palace of the kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of the kings, the Oba, was illustrated by multiple codified works celebrating their power. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chiefs, majestic felines, heavy bracelets, anklets and recades were produced in quantity in numerous foundry workshops using the lost wax casting technique. The art of lost-wax casting reaches its perfection in the depiction of these scenes depicting life in the palace. (Benin, ed.Snoeck)  

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OriginEx-collection portugaise
Material(s)bronze africain
Height cm28
Width10 cm
Weight1.85 Kg

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