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Catalog Data

Maker:
Fon artist  Search this
Medium:
Wood, pigment
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 22 x 8 x 6 cm (8 11/16 x 3 1/8 x 2 3/8 in.)
Type:
Sculpture
Geography:
Benin
Date:
Late 19th-early 20th century
Label Text:
The awesome power of the Fon king over life and death is conveyed by the actions of the royal executioner who holds a long-bladed knife and the severed head of the body he steps on. The circular tufts of hair further identify the executioner as a servant of the king.
As devotees of Gu, the Fon god of iron and war, the destinies of the king, executioner and victim are intertwined through their use of the tools of civilization (hoes) and the weapons of violence (swords), which are emblems of Gu.
Description:
Wood standing figure with a large knife in the proper right hand and a trophy head in the proper left hand. The proper left foot is placed atop a headless torso of a victim. Traces of indigo are visible.
Exhibition History:
The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection Highlights, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009-June 4, 2014
First Look: The Walt Disney-Tishman Collection of African Art, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 17-December 3, 2006
Icons: Ideals and Power in the Art of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., October 25, 1989-September 3, 1990
For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981
Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, October 16, 1968-January 5, 1969; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, August 31-November 1, 1970; University of Texas College of Fine Arts, Austin; City Art Museum, St. Louis, August 20-October 17, 1971; Des Moines Art Center; Huntington Galleries, Huntington, WV
Published References:
City Art Museum of Saint Louis. 1971. Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection. Special addendum (August 20-October 17). Saint Louis, p. 30, no. 39.
Cole, Herbert M. 1989. Icons: Ideals and Power in the Art of Africa. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 99, no. 111.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen, Bryna Freyer and Andrea Nicolls. 2007. African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 103, fig. 29.
Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 84-85, no. 44.
Topic:
weapon  Search this
Power  Search this
male  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Object number:
2005-6-65
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Museum of African Art Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of African Art
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ys71c0eab9c-d5eb-462a-8c47-9ea456e698ad
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmafa_2005-6-65