Early 20th century
Height: 15 in. (38 cm)
Ex collection Roger Bédiat (1907-1958)
Ex collection Lucien Van de Velde, Antwerp
Ex collection Didier Claes, Brussels
Ex private collection, Paris
« Grands antiquaires et libraires », Claes, Brussels, 2007
« Empreintes d’Afrique », 5 continents, 2011,
plate 87 page 276
Price: on request
Photo: © Hughes Dubois
Senufo statuary is distinguished by its aesthetic refinement, where pure lines combine a hieratic quality and movement. Called Sando'o, Senufo anthropomorphic figures were used by soothsayers to communicate with the spirit world.
Female figures represent celebrations of fertility; the fact that the figure is seated is a symbol of power and strength.
The figure shown opposite is notable for the remarkable expressivity of the face and the fine-aged patina, proof of years of ritual libations.
The haughty, upright posture of the figure is counterbalanced by the sensuality of the curves.