Cyprien Tokoudagba (Beninese, born 1939) 'Houéda vodoun dangbé' unframed

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Lot 91
Cyprien Tokoudagba
(Beninese, born 1939)
'Houéda vodoun dangbé' unframed

£ 2,500 - 3,500
US$ 3,200 - 4,500
Amended

Africa Now

16 Mar 2011, 14:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Cyprien Tokoudagba (Beninese, born 1939)
'Houéda vodoun dangbé'
signed and inscribed 'Tokoudagba Cyprien Benin abomey' (lower right)
acrylic on canvas
129.5 x 176cm (51 x 69 5/16in).
unframed

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With Galerie Degbomey, France

    Cyprien Tokoudagba began his artistic career as a restorer of the royal palaces of Abomey. Working at first-hand with the remaining artefacts of royal power gave him exceptional access to the fading traditions and symbolic systems of the Fon kings. Himself an initiate of various vodun societies, his artwork was originally only found adorning the walls of vodun temples, but since he began using canvas in 1989, his haunting portraits of gods and the iconic representations of Abomey's kings can now also be found in major museums around the world.

    Tokoudagba's work thus transmits into the present the traditional symbology of the Fon and the complex world-view it contains. Here he depicts Dangbé, the python goddess, with her cousin Hébiosso (or Shango) the god of thunder. In art Hébiosso is often associated with the holy animal, the ram, and the holy colours red and white. His symbol is the oshe (double-headed axe), which represents swift and balanced justice. The energy given from this deity of thunder is a symbol of African resistance against an enslaving European culture.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that in the printed catalogue a blemish appears in the image on the face of Hébiosso (the figure at right). This mark is not actually on the work itself and the correct image is displayed in the online catalogue.
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