With her small sandalled feet visible below her long, flowing robes, this Madonna figure is depicted standing - unusually - on what appears to be puffs of clouds, on top of a flared base. Craved from a dense hard wood, her face bears a serene expression, with heavy-lidded, downcast eyes, and her pursed lips show remnants of red colouring. A glimpse of her hair is visible beneath her head covering, which is depicted gathering into folds at the back of the figure.
Over a string of rosary beads with a cross centrepiece, she clasps her hands together in prayer. Among African Madonna figures, the holding of rosary beads appears to be an early French influence and is therefore mostly only found among such figures from the Congo and central Africa. Leaf motifs decorate her floor-length robe, and a carved star with a metal insert centre unusually features below the Madonna’s cross. The surface of this piece exhibits a very dry patina, which indicates that figure in all likelihood came out of Africa many years ago.
Madonna figures such as this would have been kept in the village or private houses serving as a protective presence from harmful forces.
Ex Private Collection, London
Ex Private Collection, France
Estimated Period: First Half of 20th Century (1930's)
H: 76 CM
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