Views of the benin bronzes

Some are made of brass, which metallurgical analysis has shown to be an alloy of copper, zinc, and lead in various proportions.

Benin Bronzes on Loan and the Museums Dilemma (1)

Bring all these Bronzes to where? The British officers were killed. Consequently, when the Benin bronzes entered museum collections, both anthropologists and museum curators had difficulty to explain how these uncivilised primitives could produce something equivalent, in technical mastery, like the sculptures from the Italian renaissance for example.

The Daily Mail, voice of popular imperialism, had been founded the year before. The British museum today proudly displays 48 of the Benin Bronzes with many hundreds stored away from public view.

Diva How do you get to be one of the great operatic divas? Their tradition holds that he taught the Benin metal workers the art of casting bronze using lost-wax techniques during the thirteenth century.

These variations probably reflect the size and shape of the palace pillars and the arrangement of the plaques on them.

Monuments and palaces of many high-ranking chiefs were looted. Copyright Trustees of the British Museum The figure at the centre of this brass plaque is the oba - the king of Benin in Nigeria. Read more When I see a Benin bronze, I immediately think of the mastery of technology and art — the welding of the two.

However, the massacre of these British Officers and civilians sent shockwaves around the world, especially into the heart of the British Government. This brings me to the misconception of our collective histories and the cultural confusion most Nigerians are trapped in. The punitive expedition set out two months later, led by Sir Harry Rawson with 1, British troops.

Mark agreed and the repatriation of an IBIS bird bronze together with the diary will be conducted during and presented to the highest authority The IBIS bird represents power and was once fixed on a wooden staff and carried by one of the Obas Chiefs; there would have been two such Ibis staff of office.

The empire for a long time was shoved out of historical memory, an embarrassment that, in the s, 70s and 80s, Britain wanted to forget. During the British Expedition of around plaques were found. I think immediately of a cohesive ancient civilisation.

Benin plaque: the oba with Europeans

These works of art will inspire the people of Nigeria as they have done people, from all over the world as they have gazed into the shapes and contours of the sculptures at the British Museum for over a century.

The Iyoba — Mother of oba — also played a vital role in the power structure as a supreme moral authority and protective force supporting the oba.

The destruction of Benin City happened at the most irrational period in the history of the empire, when Britain competed with the French, Germans and Belgians to grab as much of the African continent as possible.

Spoils of war

It resembles one of those episodes of cultural misunderstanding that anthropologists love to tell. There is some anthropological information about the plaques, to not solely adopt an aesthetic route. We will also look into how the Victorian viewed the bronzes, and their craftsmen.

Often, their return has been considered an icon of the repatriation of the African continent. It was, after all, a punitive expedition. That period is known as the time of the warrior-kings and is considered to be the golden age of the Benin Kingdom.

Primitive art has become world culture, and the Benin bronzes stands as evidence of a shared human history. While Picasso leapt into the "darkness", Victorians preferred to keep the light on. Or for the people of the nation, the average and perhaps not so average Nigerian citizen?

On the third day, the blaze grew out of control and engulfed part of the city.European visitors to Benin were impressed by the city, the king and his court and left accounts describing the size, scale and magnificence of the city.

Benin City was the centre of political control, and the court and palace were the political, spiritual and ceremonial heart of the Kingdom. •The Benin Ivory mask in the Metropolitan Museum New York. By Denrele Animasaun.

It is hoped that the Benin Bronzes if or when they return they will not just remain in Benin, which should be the. The two largest collections of Benin Bronzes are located in the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and in the British Museum in London, while the third largest collection is located in several museums in Nigeria (principally the Nigerian National Museum in Lagos).

•The Benin Ivory mask in the Metropolitan Museum New York. By Denrele Animasaun. Recently, in all the media, there has been a lot of excitement on the proposed loan of the Benin Bronzes which many believe were taken, looted or stolen by the colonist from the Benin Palace by brutal force in what is now known as the Benin Massacre.

Benin Bronzes

The Benin plaques and sculptures in the British Museum are at once imaginative and classical, with a compelling mixture of smoothness and sharpness, natural observation and unforced fantasy. Brass was the preferred medium of the royal art of Benin because its redness was beautiful and menacing, with an authority and a fiery presence that.

The controversial views of the Benin bronzes have undergone a natural evolution since the discovery in But it is not only the bronzes, it is the whole transformation of western views towards Africa that has taken place.

What are the Benin Bronzes? Download
Views of the benin bronzes
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