Ife (Yoruba) / Female Portrait Head / 12th century - 14th centuryIfe (Yoruba)
Female Portrait Head
12th century - 14th century

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Creator Nationality: African; West African; Nigerian; Ife
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Ife (Yoruba)
Title: Female Portrait Head
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1399
Creation Date: 12th century - 14th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Terra-cotta
Dimensions: H.12 x W.5-3/4 x D.7 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 95.84
Credit Line: The John R. Van Derlip Fund
Rights: http://www.artsmia.org/restrictions.html

Between the 12th and 14th centuries, the royal city of Ife, in present-day Nigeria, was a center of economic, religious and political power, and its importance was reflected in a highly developed and distinctive sculptural style. Portrait heads modeled in terra-cotta or bronze stood on royal shrines in the palace compound. This head, recently acquired by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, probably represents a woman of the royal court. The delicate lines on her face show a pattern of scarification, the cutting of designs into the skin to mark identity, status and beauty. The sensitive realism of this portrait is unusual among African art styles which typically present abstracted and generalized representations of the human image. Works of art from Ife are very rare. This superb creation is one of only three in American museum collections.

Related Multimedia Description: Antenna Audio: Permanent Collection Tour
Link to Multimedia: MIA_.AA200102.14.mp3
AMICA ID: MIA_.95.84
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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