Madonna figure, Luba peoples, D.R.C.
A masterfully carved wood Santo depicting the Madonna, wearing cloak and floor-length, flowing robes, her small
toes partially exposed, gentle hands clasped in reverence and her European featured face looking gentle but
solemn. Gracefully carved with baluster form, standing on small, integral base.

17.5" tall
ex private collection, Netherlands

Images of the Madonna and Madonna and Child are one of the central icons of Christianity, representing the Madonna or Mary,
mother of Jesus, by herself or, rather more often, with her son Jesus. These iconic images were introduced to the African people
centuries ago with some of the earliest images appearing on Ethiopian objects. In as early as the 15th century, various cultures in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo were introduced to images associated with Christianity and examples of crucifixes and other
objects dating from this period can be found in museums and private collections.  Examples of Madonna figures carved in wood and
ivory by the Luba people are now coveted among collectors of African and religious art.

"In 1491, the Kongo king Nzinga converted to Christianity, thereby strengthening ties with his counterpart in Portugal. The adoption of
Christianity allowed the kings of Kongo to participate in an international community of leaders beyond Portugal that included the
Vatican. The Kongo kings found that local religious beliefs had significant parallels with Christianity and so they were easily able to
synthesize the two. They did not feel that they had renounced one for the other." -
Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Madonna is a medieval Italian term for a noble or otherwise important woman, and has long been used commonly in reference to
images of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. The word has also been adopted by the English and other European languages.
"Madonna", translates as "My Lady". While stressing the personal, if reverent relationship between the Virgin and the devout
Christian who addresses her in prayer, it is comparable to the French, "Notre Dame", or "Our Lady". These names signal both the
increased importance of the Cult of the Virgin and the prominence of art in service to Marian devotion during the late medieval
period. During the thirteenth century, especially, with the increasing influence of chivalry and aristocratic culture on poetry, song and
the visual arts, the Madonna is represented as the Queen of Heaven, often enthroned. Strictly speaking, the term "Madonna" should
be used exclusively for Italian works of sacred art, but this is often not followed. Images where she is depicted with the Christ Child,
her infant son, are technically of the Madonna and child, but are often loosely referred to as just a "Madonna"."  

$2500 - SOLD
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
These two beautiful Luba Madonna figures were most likely carved by the same hand.

The figure on the left is the figure being offered for sale on this page.

The figure on the right is 13" tall and it is ex Sam Hilu collection, NYC. *This figure has been SOLD.

I love it when I come across different figures that were most likely carved by the same hand. These figures are masterfully carved and I
especially enjoy the subtle differences in the carving between the two figures.