Early 20th century
Height: 25.5 cm
Ex collection Milton Hirsch, Chicago, circa 1960
Ex collection Allen Wardwell (1935–1999), New York
Ex collection Lance & Roberta Entwistle, Paris / London
Ex private collection, Belgium
Senufo. Sculpture from West Africa
The Museum of Primitive Art, New York,
20 fév. – 5 mai 1963
Art Institute of Chicago, 12 juin. – 11 août 1963
Baltimore Museum of Art, 17 sept. – 27 oct. 1963
Senufo. Sculpture from West Africa, Robert Goldwater, 1964, pl. 100
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 delicacy of the features of the face and the thick patina, proof of years of ritual libations.
The tension of the face projecting forward is counterbalanced by the pronounced curve of the back and the slenderness of the neck, underlining the haughty, upright posture of the figure.