199
199
Lagoons Peoples, Côte d'Ivoire
FEMALE FIGURE, NKPASOPI
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
199
Lagoons Peoples, Côte d'Ivoire
FEMALE FIGURE, NKPASOPI
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

1000 Ways of Seeing: The Private Collection of the late Stanley J. Seeger

|
London

Lagoons Peoples, Côte d'Ivoire
FEMALE FIGURE, NKPASOPI

Provenance

Miguel Covarrubias (1904 - 1957), Mexico City

Exhibited

Princeton, Princeton University Art Museum, The Stanley J. Seeger Jr. Collection, 1961, no.163, illustrated in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

The Lagoons region of southern Côte d'Ivoire is home to no fewer than twelve distinct ethnic groups, all living in relatively close proximity. There was considerable artistic exchange between these groups, with celebrated carvers having their work commissioned by clients from distant villages, and objects circulating widely throughout the region.

On the basis of its style, we can add the Seeger figure to the corpus of works by a carver identified as the 'Master of the Rounded Volumes' (Monica Blackmun Visonà, Constructing African Art Histories for the Lagoons of Côte d'Ivoire, Farnham, 2010, p. 84). Closely related works by this artist are in the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (inv. no. A127), and the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva (inv. nos. BMG 1007-12 and BMG 1007-14). The Master of the Rounded Volumes appears to have worked in the central Kyaman and southern Akye area of the Lagoons at the beginning of the 20th century. Visonà notes that 'his harmonious figures' are distinctive for their 'smooth finish and precise divisions between segments of the body' (ibid.).

The Seeger figure displays all of the physical traits admired by the Lagoons peoples. The long and sharply defined nose is a shape that was greatly admired in the region, and the full breasts, wide hips, and thick calves all reflect ideals of mature feminine beauty. The elaborately arranged hair is a style recorded in the early 20th century by visitors to the Lagoons, whilst the tiny holes visible to the forehead, cheeks, and immediately below the navel would originally have held small wooden pegs which represented keloid scarifications, traditional symbols of feminine beauty.

1000 Ways of Seeing: The Private Collection of the late Stanley J. Seeger

|
London