According to Kingdom of Ife, an article written by the British Museum, Ife is rightly regarded as the birthplace of some of the highest achievements of African art and culture, combining technical accomplishment with strong aesthetic appeal. From the 12th to the 15th centuries, Ife flourished as a powerful, cosmopolitan and wealthy city-state in West Africa, in what is now modern Nigeria. It was an influential centre of trade connected to extensive local and long-distance trade networks which enabled the region to prosper. Ife developed a refined and highly naturalistic sculptural tradition in stone, terracotta, brass and copper-alloy to create a style unlike any in Africa at the time. The human figures portray a wide cross-section of Ife society and include depictions of youth and old age, health and disease, suffering and serenity. The almost pure copper mask of Obalufon II, an early Ooni (king) of Ife is one of the finest images of royal power from Ife (Kingdom of Ife). Some of the artworks in this gallery are: Shrine Head (1100 - 1399) by Unknown, Minneapolis Institute of Art; Ife head: Brass head of a ruler (1300-1450), British Museum; Head of the femenine personage - Culture Ife (10th century - 12th century) by Unknown, Fundacion Alberto Jimenez-Arellano Alonso-Universidad de Valladolid; and Head, possibly a King (12th–14th century) by African, southwestern Nigeria, Ife culture Kimbell Art Museum. From bronze to terracotta, each shows the creativity and inventiveness of the African artists in terms of portraiture. Sources: “Ancient Africa.” Survey of Non-Western Art. Boundless, 13 Apr. 2016. Retrieved 27 Apr. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/users/159928/textbooks/survey-of-non-western-art/africa-before-1800-ce-17/ancient-africa-113/ancient-africa-498-5364/
Apley, Alice. “Ife Terracottas.” The Met Museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oct 2001. Web. 26 April 2016. “Ife.” Boundless Art History. Boundless, 21 Jul. 2015. Retrieved 05 Mar. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/art-history/textbooks/boundless-art-history-textbook/africa-before-1800-ce-17/sub-saharan-civilizations-115/ife-503-5362/ “Ile-Ife.” Survey of Non-Western Art. Boundless, 13 Apr. 2016. Retrieved 27 Apr. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/users/159928/textbooks/survey-of-non-western-art/africa-before-1800-ce-17/africa-from-1000-to-1700-ce-116/ile-ife-509-5180/ "Kingdom of Ife: sculptures from West Africa." The British Museum. Jason Greeves, 2010. Web. 26 April 2016.