late 1800s-early 1900s
Overall: 16.5 x 12.5 x 2.5 cm (6 1/2 x 4 15/16 x 1 in.)
René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.445
This figure combines Kongo artists’ attention to symmetry with the Western depiction of Christ, lifeless on the cross.
One of two Christian-inspired objects in the Delenne collection identifying the far-reaching networks of trade, diplomacy, religion, and cross-cultural exchange. Kongo Christian symbols were created as spiritual tools to help explain and alleviate the turbulent situation between Central African religion and Catholicism. This figurine is geometric in style, combining both Christian ideals and preexisting Kongo artistic practices. Its pierced hands and feet link him to crucifixion images.
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