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art of portraiture

The three works that I chose that are art of portraiture are Head of a King, Mask of an Lyoba, and Mother Goddess. The first two portraits are West AfricanArt from two different tribes, Ife, who created the Head of a King and Benin,whom created the Mask of an Lyoba. The Mother Goddess is an Aztec piece. Thesegroups of people are from different cultures, time periods, and share differentreligious beliefs. The similarity of the groups is the symbolic meaning theportraitures brought to its people. The first work is the Head of a King. This Ife creation altered the perceptionthat scholars had of the tribe. It was known that the Ife tribes did not doportraits because of the spirits that could harm the subjects. The sculpturesthat were discovered all seemed to resemble rulers, so the conclusion was thatthe institution of kingship and the need to revere royal ancestors were strongenough to overcome concerns. Also the figures were naturalistic. Theproportions of the few knownful figures are characteristically African.. Theheads may have been taken from life models, but seem more like idealized images. An example is of the proportions of the head of the sculpture. Theseproportions probably reflect a belief in the heads importance as the abode ofthe spirit, and the focus of the individual identity.Ife is the sacred city of the Yoruba people, were naturalistic sculpture began. The Benin tribe arose after the Ife, and was greatly influenced by their art.Their portraits were also naturalistic, but as they grew more knowledgeable inart, they drew away from the naturalistic works of the Ife people into stylizedworks of their own. The Mask of an Lyoba is a beautiful ornamental mask ofroyalty. This works shows that the people no longer use the naturalisticapproach, but a bold, more idealized, representation of its people. The art ofBenin is a royal art, only the oba could commission the works. This work wascommissioned in ivory, bu...

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