3816Re: DRC Art - the problem of pastiche & Brooklyn Museum web-site
- Feb 19 7:51 AMLee and Elisio-
Thanks for your posts--much appreciated. I've been able to do some
additional research, and I've identified two other singiti with
pronounced collarbones--Plate 192 in Treasures from the Africa-
Museum, Tervuren (1995), and plate 165 in Cornet's Survey of Zairean
Art, the Bronson Collection (1978). In the former, Neyt indicates
that the morphology and stylistic traits of the Turveren piece
(including the collarbones) are similar to a dozen or so pieces from
the Sayi region workshop found among the Mahundu grouping in the
Southeast of Southern Niembo territory--known as the Sayi substyle
(in 1978 when the Cornet book was published there were only around 6
identified to date).
Significantly, each of these pieces is otherwise quite different
stylistically than the one of which I posted pics--most notably, the
eyes of each are wide open and the legs are longer--more realistic,
rather than foreshortened in a more expressionistic rendering.
Interestingly, the lower region of my piece (and the cross-hatched
headband) are more similar to the figure in plate 167 of Cornet--
where the entire figure is more expressionistic--Cornet notes that
that piece is "somewhat newer" than the Sayi piece and from a
My guess is that, either my piece (assuming its authentic) is either
from an area near Sayi that was stylistically influenced by that
workshop or is of a later vintage when perhaps the figures from Sayi
were influenced by other workshops in the rendering of the legs
(perhaps because of ateliers of stools, which have similar rounded
bases and foreshortened legs in some instances). As one earlier post
discussed, there is obviously a lot of styistic "cross pollination"
that goes on between diverse cultures or subcultures.
Anyway, as he is the acknowleged expert, I'm considering tying to
locate an email address for Francois Neyt in the event he may be
willing to share his thoughts. I'll follow up with the group if I
come up with anything more to add to the mix. Thanks again.
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