LUBA CULT RELIQUARY FIGURE, WORKSHOP IN THE...

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LUBA CULT RELIQUARY FIGURE, WORKSHOP IN THE...

LUBA CULT RELIQUARY FIGURE, WORKSHOP IN THE MIDDLE LUKUGA, EASTERN LUBA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
H. 7.67 in

Provenance:
- Collectée par Georges Van Halle entre 1940 et 1945
- Collection Pierre Dartevelle, acquis de Georges Van Halle en 1974, Bruxelles
- Galerie Bernard de Grunne, Bruxelles
- Collection Béatrice et Patrick Caput, Paris

Publication:
- François Neyt, Luba, aux sources du Zaïre, 1993, p.157
- Mary Nooter Roberts et Allen F. Roberts, Memory: Luba Art and the Making of History, 1996, p.196, n°79
- Patrick Caput et Valentine Plisnier, Arts d’Afrique. Portraits d’une collection, 2016, p.88-89

Exposition:
- Paris, Fondation Dapper, Luba, aux sources du Zaïre, 25 novembre 1993 – 17 avril 1994
- New York, The Museum of African Art, Luba: to the source of the Zaire, 2 février – 8 septembre 1996
- Washington, The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Luba: to the source of the Zaire, 30 octobre 1996 – 26 janvier 1997
- Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Luba: to the source of the Zaire, 26 juillet – 5 octobre 1997
- Wellesley, Davis Museum & Cultural Center, Luba: to the source of the Zaire, 5 février – 7 juin 1998 Luba religious statues are rare. Intermediaries between the visible and the invisible, they were usedto deal with forces that are antagonistic, ambivalent, that produce happiness, fertility, wealth, but also spells, possession and death. They mainly appear during rites of divination, healing and initiation. Collected between 1940 and 1945 by colonial officer Georges Van Halle, this reliquary statuette is a masterpiece of Luba art. With its lovely, dark patina, it masterfully combines Luba, Hemba and Tabwa influences. The head, seat of power, site of wisdom and clairvoyance, is mounted with a small, finely decorated, round cup. Set at the top of an elegant, embossed headdress, its role was to hold magical remedies. The huge, half-closed almond eyes suggest deep introspection. The nose and mouth are sculpted with extreme delicateness. The long, magnificently ringed neck leads to an ample bosom, reminding us of the importanceof femininity in Luba art. Her hands are symbolically placed on the rounded abdomen. The beauty of this sculpture, its full shapes, its expressive face, and more particularly its high, rounded forehead, its big almond eyes and its long, ringed neck, make it possible to attribute it to a workshop in the border region of Luba and Hemba, in the Lukuga region. According to François Neyt, the finest Luba representations, the most prestigious from an aesthetic point of view, were produced in this region of Congo (see Luba aux sources du Zaïre, p.158).
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