The south of Sahara, the Africans cannot be distinguished from art. They have incorporated it every wake of their life starting from their dialogue, commuting with the spirits, the gods to the form of physical therapy. Naming the African art form as rich is just a name game. Their history treads back to 500 B.C., in the womb of nature and populous African country, Nigeria. As an art form, the ancient African sculptures were the first to be unearthed from the economic powerhouse of the continent. Along with these African masks and figures, many potteries were used in various religious ceremonies. Wood constitutes the main material for their art, which later flaunted with clay, feathers, ivory, metals, shells etc.
Though the entire continent is inclined to the making of African art sculptures, the western and central part of Africa take away the credit of the indigenous art. There are various forms of the cultural art as the history is a proof that it is a contribution of various tribes, but the abstract carving on wood is takes away the prize. The Nigerian people are well known for the human statues made of terracotta whereas the Cameroon grasslands call for the bold woodcarvings as masks and decorative textiles.
The explosion of the tradition especially the African art sculptures on to the international platform goes back to the 19th century when many archeologists discovered the bronze sculptures. These African sculptures are called as the Benin Bronzes, and they have inspired and uplifted many a man towards their royal patronage. Though they had a few materials as a necessity, today, these sculptures are made from various durable materials.
The reign of the human form
The human form as a way of art has always instigated the Africans in both live and dead. The souls of the hunters, chiefs especially are expressed in an abstract way to give a 3D effect. Some also used the same expression to give an anthropomorphic form of the god. The bronze and brass were used to represent realistic busts and were believed to be attractive and durable.
The significance of the Benin Bronzes with the European work
The Benin bronze art are believed to be the pioneer to many noteworthy artists. For example, the Auguste Rodin, the creator of the ‘The Thinker’ and who can forget Donatello and his famous David. The Benin Bronzes has an impact even over the creation of many remarkable artists. From Michelangelo’s ‘La Pieta’ to Pablo Picasso’s work, everyone has a hint from the famous African art sculptures
The modern day African sculptures
Though the ancient African sculptures would always be in a la mode, but the contemporary artists are going in vain. They are following the steps of their predecessor with fancy figurines, animals in action and the bronze nudes, which are mainly famous cause of the proportionate body.
The history of the African art influenced the artists worldwide with their aesthetic value and the qualities of them today still are inspiriting everyone day by day.
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