On May 7 in New York, Sotheby's sells a Kongo-Yombe figure of maternity 27 cm high, lot 5 estimated $ 2M. The artist is known by a homogeneous corpus of figures and masks. His work can not be dated precisely. A statuette collected in a village between 1911 and 1913 made attribute to him the name of Master of Kasadi.
The Kongo society is matriarchal. The artist specializes in the nganga diphamba showing the ecstasy of the primordial mother Mpemba in connection with the supernatural world. The carving shows in a great sharpness the bodily scarification and the jewelry.
The infant is lying on the lap of his mother holding him in a delicate gesture of both hands. He is alive : the mystery of procreation is softened by the lovely gesture of the child catching the nipple.
Maternity is a favorite theme of art in most civilizations. This nice statuette is a fine African example.
SOLD for $ 3.3M including premium