Illustration principale
Female Figure, Rungu
Rungu people, South of Lake Tanganyika, Democratic Republic of the Congo/Tanzania, 1800-1900

Wood, pigment, palm oil
Height : 42 cm

Provenance : Jacques Gansler collection, Virginia
Michael Rhodes, New York
Cole Harrell, New York
Olivier Castellano, Paris
This female figure appears to be quite a unique sculpture, showing stylistic elements and aesthetic influences from various tribes living in the vicinity of the Lake Tanganyika, located between southeastern Congo and northwestern Tanzania. However, the overall appearance and posture seems to suggest a probable Rungu origin; while the wood used by the artist and its deep carmine sweating surface are reminescent of Bembe workshops, and could possibly steer to an itinerant Bembe master carver producing for neighboring communities. According to Marc L. Félix, these figures were carved in pairs, male and female of usually much smaller size, but always depicted on a similar short stylized throne. Few examples are known and published and it seems the present figure is a major artistic testimony from this rare corpus.
Price on request