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Hemba figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
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Hemba figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
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拍品詳情

Z Collection

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巴黎

Hemba figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo

來源

Emile Deletaille, Bruxelles
Collection Z, Bruxelles, acquis ca 1970

出版

Neyt, La Grande Statuaire Hemba du Zaïre, 1977, p. 206-207, n° V. 10

相關資料

This remarkable sculpture reflects the prestige of princely families at the time of the Luba kingdom’s expansion and the cultural florescence of the Hemba traditions. It originated in the Niembo workshops of the Luika, which are among the most prestigious within Hemba aesthetics. According to François Neyt, writing about a very closely related statue (Sotheby's, Paris, 16 June 2010, No.73), "their sculptures do not only embody ancestor worship, but also have a social and political dimension that make them first-rate aesthetic and historical evidence. They give an account of the chiefs of the region, their prestige, their coiffure styles, the mens scarification, the marks of authority [...] It is therefore appropriate to date this masterpiece to the first half of the nineteenth century, which was the apogee of ancestor effigies.”

The magnificence of the ancestral figure is reflected in the statue’s arresting presence, the formal eurhythmy, the fluidity of its outlines and the commanding beauty of the head. The ovoid face with its rounded full forms, blossoms in the curve of the exposed forehead, which extends to the top of the head. The coiffure, which unfolds in four lobes, comes together in a decorated diadem. On a plane inclined gently upwards, two intricate horizontal braids cover two vertical braids. They protect a receptacle that has its root in mythical stories: during the short migrations of the dry season, this was where the chief of the clan deposited the seeds to be planted during the following rain season. Finally, the delicately sculpted beard accentuates the ancestral ascendancy while structuring the lower part of the face.

Acquired approximately fifty years ago from a Belgian dealer, this majestic ancestral statue from the Z Collection is one of the first known examples in Europe of the great Hemba statuary, similar to the statue that François Neyt attributes to the same sculptor, and which is preserved at the Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale (inv. n° 72.17).

Z Collection

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巴黎