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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Djenne : Djenne Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Woman
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Djenne Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Woman - PF.3708
Origin: Central Mali
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 14 th Century AD
Dimensions: 13" (33.0cm) high x 9.5" (24.1cm) wide
Catalogue: V19
Collection: African
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The Djenne culture has produced some of the most remarkable and unique pieces of sculpture ever found in this period and this lady is no exception. Crafted out of beautifully colored terracotta, she sits before us, calmly and peacefully. Traditionally, she is typical of the Djenne style. One of her most remarkable features is her elongation. Perhaps it was through such pieces that the Italian Mannerist artist Parmigianino created his masterpiece "Virgin with the long neck". Nevertheless, the beauty of this terracotta female is notable.

A considerable number of Djenne pieces included an appliqué zigzag pattern, such as the scarification that she bears on her distended stomach. On such statuettes, they are interpreted as serpent motifs. The protruding navel, the pointed breasts and the accentuated nipples, heighten her angularity. Her eyes and mouth both protrude which is typical of Djenne style as are the rings on her arms. Ritual scarification has also occurred on her face and her hands. However, the most amazing and beautiful feature that she has is her long, flowing hair. Carefully incised, it flows gently down her back and curves around her, and rests on her feet. It is such beauty and precision that makes the Djenne pieces so unique, and never allows the eye to become bored but instead allows it to roam and take notice of each individual aspect.
- (PF.3708)


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