Plaque with an oba and two warriors. The bronzes of Benin are the outcome of a long tradition. The discovery of the Benin bronzes dates from 1897, when a British punitive expedition stripped the city of Benin of many objects, which were carried to London. Soon after this expedition a newly elected oba did everything to breathe new life into the old arts and was, up to a point, successful. The “Benin style” is a court art from the palace of the divine oba. The oba possessed a monopoly of bronze. The plaques cast in high relief were used to decorate the palace. The wooden pillars of the palace were covered from head to foot with such plaques. They depicted various motifs and scenes. Figures are modeled in high relief. They appear standing in a stiffly frontal pose, as if in a kind of ceremonial posture, with all the details of their regalia or dress carefully portrayed. This plaque presents the figures of an oba with two warriors.
Exhibited at Fairleigh Dickinson University Library Madison NJ Nov 14 - 22, 2016