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Baule Bronze/Brass Sculptures of a Royal Couple - PF.6312
Origin: Ivory Coast
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 12.75" (32.4cm) high
Collection: African
Style: Baule
Medium: Bronze/Brass

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Baule artists, with their attention to detail and great sense of stylization, have produced some of the most elegant objects of all African art. This pair of bronze sculptures, memorializing a royal couple, is a testament to the beauty of Baule art. Both stand with their legs spread apart, knee just slightly bent, characteristic of the Baule sculptural style. The woman carries a small child on her back who tightly clings to her, suggesting that she is fertile, the ultimate quality of a woman in African cultures. Raised scarifications visible on their torsos, arms, and faces are also hallmarks of Baule art. Their fantastic coiffures both enhance their beauty as well as suggest their high social rank, for only wealthy individuals had the spare time it would take to craft such hair styles. As much as their physical features testify to their elite rank, perhaps the greatest indication of there status is simply the material: bronze. Surely anyone less than a royal couple would be memorialized in wood. Both the inherent value of the metal and the technical sophistication of the casting process suggest that these figures are highly important individuals. - (PF.6312)

 

 

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