24 of 73 Lots

African Art | Works from the Swiss collection of Walter Schwab

Wednesday 13 October 2021 • Milan

24

TELLEM Mali, region of Bandiagara

Estimate

€ 12.000 - 14.000

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Information

h 33,5 cm
Figure with a child.
Wood covered with a mixture of sacrificial substances. Old fractures.
The sculpture depicts an androgenous figure with a long, rolled beard and prominent breasts. The body is mutilated, missing its right arm and left hand, but the female elements of the body are nevertheless well-defined.The breasts are indicative of maternity, confirmed by the child she is carrying on her back. Her young one, attached to her, has her arms open and is resting her feet on her buttocks. The whole sculpture is supported by a thick hemispherical platform.The figure incorporates elements from both sexes, a representation that features heavily in Dogon mythology in the many Nommi works – the divine beings who created the earthly lineage.This rudimentary proto-Dogon work is a rare representation in the world of Tellem sculptures.
The theme of the mother with her child has been depicted in the sculptures of many African groups. The Dogon in particular produced many works depicting scenes of mothers with their children in their arms or on their backs. There are mothers with three children clinging to or put across their bodies – in Dogon tradition, fertility is considered to be an event of great fortune. Each sculptor interpreted this theme in an original way, where the child, even if they are in the woman’s womb, becomes inseparable from the mother.

Provenance

Galleria Franco Monti (1954) Life of Franco Monti (*);
Former collection of Dr. Carlo De Chiara, Milan (1959);
Expertise of Franco Monti on 20th December 1959 (**);
* Private collection of heirs;

Contact

arteafricana@finarte.it 02 3363801 Text us on WhatsApp

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