STATUE REPRESENTING KING
H : 105 cm.
Dapper - Paris
For once, we know the name of the artist: Huntondji Ganhu,
blacksmith to King Glele who passed order for this tall statue of astonishing
presence some time before 1889. The king is portrayed nude except for a kind of
singlet bunched up under the arms. The extreme stylisation of the limbs sets off
the face with its accentuated geometric forms: protruding lower jaw, turned-up
nose, fineness of the facial lines, all of which correspond to the description
left by the explorer, Richard Burton, who saw the king towards 1863. The opened
mouth revealing menacing teeth, like the silver lion, the brandished ritual
sabres or "gubashas", recall that the monarch was also a warrior who
had to fight hard against the Yorubas to ensure the independence of his kingdom.
The metal used for the statue is said to have originated from used rifle
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