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Timelines of World Art: Africa

c. 1700–c. 1725

The painting of Michael the Archangel in the Church of Debre Sina is indicative of the new painting style developed in Gondar, the capital of Christian Ethiopia, and reveals the characteristic bright palette and long-faced figures. Read more...

c. 1750

A king of the Kuba dynasty in Zaïre commissions a representation in wood of the founder of the royal family Shyaam aMbul aNgoong and another of himself. Henceforth, each king has a commemorative statue of himself made. Read more...

c. 1800

Europeans become aware of Asante kente cloth, which involves a complex weaving process and is linked in mythology to the spider god Ananse. Read more...

c. 1800–c. 1850

The Yoruba develop the tradition of making wooden Gelede masks for large festivals that celebrate the power of the tribe's elderly women. Read more...

1818–1858

King Gozo has the walls of his palace in Abomey decorated with figural scenes depicting events important to his people as part of a programme to use art for political purposes. Read more...

c. 1875–c.1900

Several sculptors, identified as the 'Buli Master', carve wooden bowl-bearers, stools and statues in the Congolese town of Buli, which are naturalistic and have highly expressive faces. Read more...

c. 1875–c. 1925

Kongo carvers, working closely with spiritual advisers, make power figures, called minkisi, for use in divination rituals to consult the spirits. Read more...


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