Fountain of Blood

(Mozambican, 1936–2011)
Framed: 119.4 x 147.3 cm (47 x 58 in.)
© Malangatana Ngwenya / DALRO, Johannesburg / ARS, NY
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Did You Know?

Fountain of Blood was featured in the 1962 First International Congress of Culture exhibition, a major festival that showcased African art in Europe, and was one of Ngwenya's first exhibited works outside Mozambique.


Born in Mozambique under Portuguese rule, Malangatana Ngwenya's work focuses on the clash between local Mozambican traditions and European colonialism. His highly expressive paintings often comprise dense compositions packed with religious and mythological symbolism and tormented figures—a response to the violence he witnessed. In Fountain of Blood he incorporates a local myth: when one group moves into another people's land, their spirits battle. Ngwenya's pro-independence political views resulted in the artist's imprisonment for 18 months in 1964, contributing to his national reputation as a political artist and supporter of colonial resistance.
Fountain of Blood

Fountain of Blood


Malangatana Ngwenya

(Mozambican, 1936–2011)
Africa, Mozambique, 20th century


Gruesome Imagery

Deciphering the Painting

The Artist, Ngwenya Malangatana

The Provenance

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