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Like most West African "bronzes" the piece is actually made of copper and various alloys, described by the British Museum as "heavily leaded zinc-brass". Modern practice in museums and archaeology is increasingly to avoid terms such as bronze or brass for historical objects in favour of the all-embracing "copper alloy". The head is made using the lost wax technique and is approximately three-quarters life-size, measuring 35 cm high. The artist designed the head in a very naturalistic style. The face is covered with incised striations, but the lips are unmarked. The headdress suggests a crown of complex construction, composed of different layers of tube shaped beads and tassels. This decoration is typical of the bronze heads from Ife. The crown is topped by a crest, with a rosette and a plu

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  • Like most West African "bronzes" the piece is actually made of copper and various alloys, described by the British Museum as "heavily leaded zinc-brass". Modern practice in museums and archaeology is increasingly to avoid terms such as bronze or brass for historical objects in favour of the all-embracing "copper alloy". The head is made using the lost wax technique and is approximately three-quarters life-size, measuring 35 cm high. The artist designed the head in a very naturalistic style. The face is covered with incised striations, but the lips are unmarked. The headdress suggests a crown of complex construction, composed of different layers of tube shaped beads and tassels. This decoration is typical of the bronze heads from Ife. The crown is topped by a crest, with a rosette and a plume which now is slightly bent to one side. The crown's surface includes the remains of both red and black paint. The lifelike rendering of sculptures from mediaeval Ife is exceptional in sub-Saharan African art, and initially was considered the earliest manifestation of a tradition that continued in Yoruba art, in early Benin art and other pieces. An excavation in Igbo-Ukwu in 1959 provided scientific evidence of an established metal working culture and bronze artifacts that may be dated to the ninth or tenth centuries.
  • La tête d'Ife est l'un des dix-huit objets qui furent déterrés en 1938 à Ife, au Nigeria, le centre religieux et l'ancien centre royal des Yorubas. Elle passe pour représenter un roi. Elle date probablement du XIIe siècle, avant que les Européens ne soient entrés en contact avec la population locale. Le réalisme et le raffinement de ces objets allaient alors à l'encontre des conceptions occidentales de l'art africain. Quelques têtes d'Ife se sont retrouvées au British Museum et en Amérique.
  • La testa è fatta di bronzo (una lega di rame e stagno) usando la tecnica a cera persa ed è approssimativamente tre quarti della grandezza naturale, misurando un'altezza di 35 cm. L'artista raffigurò la testa con uno stile molto naturalistico. Il volto è coperto di striature incise, ma le labbra sono prive di segni. L'ornamento del capo suggerisce una corona di fattura complessa, composta da diversi strati di perline di forma tubolare e di ciocche di capelli. Questa decorazione è tipica delle teste di bronzo di Ife. La corona è sormontata da una cresta, con una rosetta e una penna che è ora leggermente piegata da un lato. La superficie della corona presenta residui di pittura sia rossa che nera. La resa realistica delle sculture della Ife medievale è eccezionale nell'arte africana sub-sahariana, ed inizialmente fu considerata la più antica manifestazione di una tradizione che continuava nell'arte yoruba, nella prima arte del Benin e in altre opere. Uno scavo ad Igbo-Ukwu nel 1959 fornì le prove scientifiche di un'affermata cultura della lavorazione dei metalli e portò alla luce manufatti di bronzo che possono essere datati al IX o X secolo.
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  • Bronze Head from Ife
  • Testa di bronzo di Ife
  • Tête d'Ife
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  • La testa è fatta di bronzo (una lega di rame e stagno) usando la tecnica a cera persa ed è approssimativamente tre quarti della grandezza naturale, misurando un'altezza di 35 cm. L'artista raffigurò la testa con uno stile molto naturalistico. Il volto è coperto di striature incise, ma le labbra sono prive di segni. L'ornamento del capo suggerisce una corona di fattura complessa, composta da diversi strati di perline di forma tubolare e di ciocche di capelli. Questa decorazione è tipica delle teste di bronzo di Ife. La corona è sormontata da una cresta, con una rosetta e una penna che è ora leggermente piegata da un lato. La superficie della corona presenta residui di pittura sia rossa che nera. La resa realistica delle sculture della Ife medievale è eccezionale nell'arte africana sub-sahar
  • Like most West African "bronzes" the piece is actually made of copper and various alloys, described by the British Museum as "heavily leaded zinc-brass". Modern practice in museums and archaeology is increasingly to avoid terms such as bronze or brass for historical objects in favour of the all-embracing "copper alloy". The head is made using the lost wax technique and is approximately three-quarters life-size, measuring 35 cm high. The artist designed the head in a very naturalistic style. The face is covered with incised striations, but the lips are unmarked. The headdress suggests a crown of complex construction, composed of different layers of tube shaped beads and tassels. This decoration is typical of the bronze heads from Ife. The crown is topped by a crest, with a rosette and a plu
  • La tête d'Ife est l'un des dix-huit objets qui furent déterrés en 1938 à Ife, au Nigeria, le centre religieux et l'ancien centre royal des Yorubas. Elle passe pour représenter un roi. Elle date probablement du XIIe siècle, avant que les Européens ne soient entrés en contact avec la population locale. Le réalisme et le raffinement de ces objets allaient alors à l'encontre des conceptions occidentales de l'art africain. Quelques têtes d'Ife se sont retrouvées au British Museum et en Amérique.
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  • Bronze Head from Ife
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  • The Ife Head on display at the British Museum
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  • c.1300 C.E.
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  • "Bronze", actually brass
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