The above sculpture, titled “Head ” was created in the 14th to early 15th century, CE v(Wunmonjije Compound, Ife.).  Isn’t it great? It is part of an exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Arts, titled “Dynasty and Divinity:Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria” , at the VMA through May 22nd. Click here to link to the show …. .Dynasty and Divinity
From the Website…
“Artists of the Kingdom of Ife (in what is today southwestern Nigeria), created sculptures that were among the most beautiful and sophisticated works of art being produced anywhere in the world at the time. Dating from the 12th to 15th centuries A,D., the arts of Ife are noteworthy for their visual power, iconic complexity and variability of form.
One of the  high points of the exhibition is a group of awe-inspiring, life-size portrait heads of copper and various alloys that used techniques far in advance of anything available in Europe or China at the time. Surprisingly, in light of the unique importance of Ife art and civilization, no broad-based museum exhibition outside of Ife itself has featured these works. The Nigerian government’s exceptional commitment to the project, with loans from the magnificent collections of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, has led to the inclusion of approximately 100 of the most famous and beautiful Ife objects.
Previously shown at the British Museum , the exhibition was described by critics as “flabbergasting”, “once in a lifetime” and containing “artworks that rank with the Terracotta Army, the Parthenon or the mask of Tutankhamun as treasures of the human spirit”. In the Sunday Times, critic Waldemar Januszczak wrote: “A glorious display of Ife sculpture has arrived at the British Museum. Nobody — and I mean nobody — in Britain should miss it. Why? Because it changes our understanding of civilisation. Because it rewrites the story of art. Because it is a once-in-a-lifetime revolutionary event. If none of those is a big enough reason for you, then go along merely to enjoy some of the most graceful and lovely sculpture ever made. Trust me. You need to see this one.”

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