Fine Benin Oba Standing Bronze from the Early 20th Century – Maat African Art, London


A fine cast oba king


Discover the echoes of the illustrious ancient Benin Kingdom through this masterful Fine Benin Oba Standing Bronze, now proudly showcased at Maat African Art in London. This artifact is not merely a testament to the exceptional artistry of Benin’s craftsmen but a journey through centuries of profound cultural and historical evolution.

Hailing from a civilization founded in the early 14th century AD by the son of an Ife king, the Benin Kingdom flourished in the lush forest regions of southern Nigeria. Bronze casting, an art that became synonymous with Benin’s identity, was introduced around 1280 AD, propelling the kingdom to the zenith of its artistic splendor in the 15th and 16th centuries. It’s noteworthy that for ages, Benin bronzes were the beacon of West African history, showcasing unparalleled technical proficiency and a robust portrayal of monumental vigor.

By the 13th century, Benin was not just a city, but a congregation of walled farms and clans, all loyal to the omnipotent oba. This “Benin style,” distinct from tribal art, emerged from the palace of the oba, representing a royal court art. A dedicated guild of artisans, residing in a specific city district, crafted these bronze masterpieces exclusively for the king’s palace.

Standing gracefully at 28 cm, height this bronze depiction of the Oba embodies the legacy of a time when power, art, and spirituality merged. It serves as a testament to the grandeur of a kingdom whose artistry, particularly the Benin bronzes, earned admiration far and wide, finding their way into Western museums since the 1890s.

For those intrigued by authentic Benin art, this standing Oba bronze isn’t just a work of art; it’s a chapter from a rich tapestry of African history. Dive deep into this heritage and more at Maat African Art in London, a sanctum for timeless tales of African art history.



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