Veranda Post of Enthroned King and Senior Wife (Opo Ogoga)

Yoruba, Olowe of Ise (died 1938)1910/14

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, United States

This veranda post is one of four sculpted for the palace at Ikere by the renowned Yoruba artist Olowe of Ise. It is considered among the artist’s masterpieces for the way it embodies his unique style, including the interrelationship of figures, their exaggerated proportions, and the open space between them. While the king is the focal point, his portrayal suggests a ruler’s dependence on others. The stately female figure behind the king represents his senior wife. Her large scale and pose, with hands on the king’s throne, underscore her importance. She had the critical role of placing the power-invested crown on the king’s head during his coronation. Moreover, the senior wife used political acumen and spiritual knowledge to protect the king’s interests during his reign. The small figures at the king’s feet represent a junior wife, the flute-playing trickster-god Esu, and a fan bearer, now missing.


  • Title: Veranda Post of Enthroned King and Senior Wife (Opo Ogoga)
  • Creator: Yoruba, Olowe of Ise (died 1938)
  • Creator Lifespan: 1860 - 1938
  • Creator Nationality: Nigerian (Yoruba)
  • Creator Gender: male
  • Date Created: 1910/14
  • Physical Dimensions: 152.5 × 31.75 × 40.6 cm (60 × 12 1/2 × 16 in.)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Media: Wood and pigment
  • Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, Major Acquisitions Centennial Fund, 1984.550
  • Artist: Yoruba, Olowe of Ise (died 1938)

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