Art History in the News: Ife Sculpture: Magnificent Mysteries



“AFTER acclaim in Spain and Britain, “Dynasty and Divinity”, the first big exhibition devoted to sculpture from the Kingdom of Ife (in present-day Nigeria), begins an 18-month tour of America in Houston on September 19th. The show, which consists of works in stone, terracotta and metal made between the 9th and 15th centuries, is a revelation and a treat. Art from dramatically different cultures is often hard to connect with, but these sculptures are naturalistic and remarkably accessible. Whether the subject is an animal, a person or a mythical creature, each image is well observed and has tremendous presence.”

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