Early African Art

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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.

African Art before the 18th Century

Tile Fragment with Mandragora Fruit and Leaves, Unknown, 1352-1336 B.C.E., From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
Tile fragment that has a floral setting.
Ushabti of Senkamanisken, Unknown, ca. 643-623 B.C.E., From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
Ushabti of Senkamanisken's sarcophagus shows the influence of Egyptian burials had spread to Sudan. Uses hieroglyphic inscriptions on the sarcophagus.
Spacer Bead Inscribed for King Aramatelqo, Unknown, ca. 568-555 B.C.E., From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
The Spacer Bead would have likely been on a necklace at one point. The hieroglyphics also show that the Egyptian culture was spreading.
Votive Plaque of King Tanyidamani, Egyptian, ca. 100 BC (Meroitic), From the collection of: The Walters Art Museum
This piece has the king on one side and a god on the other. This shows how closely the two were related to the people of the time. Use of Hieroglyphics.
Deed of sale, Unknown, 1000/1100, From the collection of: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Records of 11 deeds of sale, wills, and other valuable papers. The recording of monetary transactions was not as important at the time and was different from the ideas of recording the food supply or important events.
Necklace, Unknown, 11th-15th century (?), From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
Necklace with two seated Nommo figures and rectangular pendants hanging from the necklace.
Shrine Head, Unknown, 1100/1399, From the collection of: Minneapolis Institute of Art
Head of Nigerian court woman, with cutting of designs into the skin to mark identity, status and beauty.
Head, possibly a King, African, southwestern Nigeria, Ife culture, 12th–14th century, From the collection of: Kimbell Art Museum
Terracotta crowned head. The calm face, as well as the elaborate crown, suggests that this head represents an Ife king. Designs in skin also help identify him.
Figure of a Man Holding a Crocodile, Unknown, 15th century or earlier, From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
This depiction shows the importance of animals in African culture. Arrow shaped nose
Nommo Figure with Raised Arms, Unknown, 11th-15th century (possibly), From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
Depending on the actual date of the piece the person may be a christian that is praying.
Equestrian Figure, 12th century - 16th century, From the collection of: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
A wealthy individual in the prime of his life on horseback. Arrow shaped nose
Female Figure, Unknown, probably early 17th century, From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
Figure with a combination of male and female characteristics. Arrow shaped nose.
Saint Matthew, Unknown, about 1504–1505, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Depictions of Christian icons in Ethiopia was caused by the European colonization of Africa.
Canon Table Page, Unknown, about 1504 - 1505, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Intertwining and colorful Canon page found in Ethiopia. Also shows the prominence of Christianity in their society.
Folding Processional Icon in the Shape of a Fan, Ethiopian, late 15th century, From the collection of: The Walters Art Museum
A display of both New and Old Testament Icons. All of the icons have halos indicating their religious value. There is also a use of geometric patterns above and below the icons.
Processional Cross, Unknown, 13th or 14th century, From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
Ethiopian brass processional cross. Indicative of the spread of Christianity.
Plaque, Unknown, 16th or 17th century, From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
A Nigerian copper plaque that depicts a European soldier that is holding a mace.
Plaque Fragment, Unknown, mid 16th-17th century, From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
Plaque of a Benin warrior. The plaque would have been located on a palace wall.
Bronze plaque, Unknown, 1600/1700, From the collection of: Museum of Ethnography
A Benin warrior that looks to be prepared for war. He is wearing a leopard tooth necklace, coral bead collar, shield, and sword, which help identify him as a soldier.
Double Bell (Egogo), Unknown, early 16th century, From the collection of: Brooklyn Museum
This gong was used by the oba(king) during certain ceremonies. This one depicts the oba being supported by family and his general.
Horn, Gulf Guinean Workshop, 1490 - 1530, From the collection of: Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas
Ivory horn that was made in Africa, but then exported out to Europe, because ivory was a luxurious item.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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