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Dahshur  

R. J. Leprohon

[Arab. Dahshūr]

Site of an ancient Egyptian necropolis consisting of Old and Middle Kingdom pyramids, on the west bank of the Nile, 75 km south of Cairo. The oldest pyramid is that of King Sneferu (reg c. 2575–c. 2551 bc), which is the first to have been designed from the start as a true pyramid. The angle of its sides was decreased halfway up, giving it a rhomboidal appearance, hence its name of Bent Pyramid (see Pyramid, fig.b). Inside the pyramid is a complicated system of corridors and portcullises, and some inner chambers have high, corbelled ceilings. Reliefs in the pyramid’s valley temple depict processions of female figures representing Sneferu’s estates throughout the country. The pyramid is still in very good condition, retaining most of its outer casing. Sneferu’s other monument, the Red Pyramid, lies 2 km north of the Bent Pyramid. The angle of its sides is the same as that of the upper part of its southern predecessor. Although the pyramid’s casing was almost completely removed by later builders, its capstone has been found; this ...

Article

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi

[Biennale of Contemporary African Art]

Dak’Art was established by the Senegalese government as the first art biennial in sub-Saharan Africa in 1989. Its mandate was to promote the latest examples of contemporary African art in Africa and create international visibility for it. Thus, it served as an important nexus between the African and international art worlds. Dak’Art’s growth in the 1990s coincided with the global expansion of the art world with regard to the proliferation of non-Western art biennials and new forms of cultural mediation. At its first iteration in 1990, Dak’Art was meant to alternate between literary and visual arts. It was a conventional art biennial in 1992, exhibiting works of artists from different parts of the world. In its third iteration, in 1996, Dak’Art transformed its institutional identity and became known as the pan-African biennial of contemporary African art. It focused almost exclusively on the works of African artists and those of the African diaspora. This transformation meant that Dak’Art considered contemporary African art as part of the mainstream art world while at the same time offering an alternative vision of how that world takes shape in Africa....

Article

A. J. Mills

The largest of Egypt’s western oases (l. c. 120 km), c. 400 km west of Luxor. It was inhabited from earliest times, and although distant from the civilization of the Nile Valley, it was never isolated: most of the preserved monuments show a strong Egyptian influence. The absence of pressure on space and building materials, combined with a kind climate, has left a series of monuments largely complete and in a reasonable condition. Although there is a group of mud-brick mastaba tombs at Balat that dates to the late 6th Dynasty (c. 2325–c. 2150 bc), the best-preserved remains date to the Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine periods (304 bcad 641). The Tomb of Kitinos (1st century bc) at Balat is the only masonry tomb with carved relief decoration known in the southern oases. Its style is purely Egyptian, though rather provincial, and typical of the period. More important are the contemporary tombs of Petosiris and Pedubastis at Qaret el-Muzzawaqa, where the painted decoration bears an unusual juxtaposition of religious scenes rendered in the traditional Egyptian style and three excellent zodiac ceilings and several owners’ portraits executed in the much freer Classical style. The nearby sandstone temple of Deir el-Haggar (1st century ...

Article

Francis Russell

(b ?1715; d London, Feb 7, 1791).

English draughtsman, engraver and dealer. As agent to a number of patrons and subsequently librarian to George III, he was one of the most influential figures in the sphere of collecting in England for some four decades. He was the son of the Rev. John Dalton and younger brother of the Rev. John Dalton, poet and divine, whose connection with Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford (later 7th Duke of Somerset), forwarded Richard’s early career in Italy. He had arrived there by 1739 and may have trained in Bologna; by 1741 he was studying under Agostino Masucci in Rome and was already active as a dealer, selling a collection of prints in that year to Henry Clinton, 9th Earl of Lincoln, and cultivating the patronage of Sir Erasmus Philipps, Bart.

In 1749 Dalton visited Calabria and Sicily and then, in his capacity as travelling draughtsman, joined the party of James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont, on a tour of Egypt, Turkey and Greece. He was possibly the first English artist to record the ancient monuments of these places. A selection of drawings executed on this tour was engraved by Dalton and published in ...

Article

Dan  

Eberhard Fischer

Mande-speaking agricultural people of north-east Liberia and the neighbouring regions of Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. Numbering some 300,000 by the 1990s, the Dan live mainly to the east and west of the upper Cavally River. The Dan and the neighbouring Mano in Liberia share many cultural traits with Toura in Côte d’Ivoire, the We (also known as Guere, Ngere or Kran) and the Wobe, although they differ linguistically from these Kwa-speaking peoples. The most important of Dan art forms are mask and masquerade, but they are also known for figure sculpture in wood and brass, finely carved wooden spoons and pottery. Examples of Dan art are held by most museums with collections of African art. The catalogue of the Die Kunst der Dan exhibition (Zurich, 1976) provides comprehensive illustrations for Dan art forms and techniques.

The Dan belong to the large ‘peripheral Mande group’ of slash-and-burn farmers who moved south from present-day ...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(b Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, Feb 2, 1938; d Porto, Mar 29, 2011).

Portuguese painter. He studied at the Escola de Belas Artes in Oporto, where he taught from 1963. In the 1960s Ângelo worked in sculpture, photography and experimental cinema as well as painting. Having won a scholarship, he attended St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1967 to 1968.

In the 1960s he painted simplified motifs drawn from nature, applying the paint thinly but unevenly, thus allowing a certain luminosity to show through the brushstrokes from the ground beneath. More interested in the mechanisms of perception than in their objects, Ângelo dispensed with figurative references from 1970, and henceforth his paintings dealt with light and spatial ambiguity. The formats comprise large, luminous, monochromatic fields of colour, applied in transparent, modulated layers and are usually divided into a few large geometric shapes by fine, incisive dark lines.

B. F. Pinto de Almeida: Ângelo de Sousa...

Article

Konjit Seyoum

(b 1947).

Ethiopian painter and computer artist, active in the USA. He trained at the School of Fine Arts under Gebre Krestos Desta in 1967. He received a scholarship to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in Nigeria, where he earned a BA (1972). He then moved to the United States to be curator of the art gallery at Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD. He actively promoted Ethiopian art, curating two 1973 exhibitions that featured Ethiopian artists working in the USA. He was awarded an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. His paintings from this period are figurative. He went on to receive a PhD in computer art from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, and became a professor of art and director of the Computing Center for the Arts at North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC. His works from the 1990s are cibachrome prints of computer-manipulated imagery that range from complex compositions to simple figural depictions....

Article

Carol Magee

(b Cape Coast, 1945).

Ghanaian painter. He trained at Ghana National College, Achimota School, and the University of Science and Technology (UST), Kumasi, where he received his BA. He obtained an MFA from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Although originally intending to stay in America, he felt his creative inspiration came from Ghana, and he returned to Kumasi. He has exhibited internationally, and in 1966 he was awarded first prize at the Warsaw International Art Exhibition. In 1967 he received the Gold Medal at the Leipzig International Graphic Art Exhibition. Among his commissions is a piece (1971) for Parliament House in Accra. His paintings of the early 1970s are geometric and angular, indicating, as do all his works, his dislike of linear perspective. These pieces have an earth-toned palette with a central subject in the middle of the canvas, as in the later Painted Masks (1980s; artist's col.). In the late 1970s he began producing market scenes. His works from the mid-1990s use vibrant colours to depict warriors, as in ...

Article

Dendara  

John Baines

[anc. Egyp. Iunet; Gr. Tentyris.]

Egyptian site on the west bank of the Nile c. 65 km north of Luxor. It was an important provincial centre throughout Egyptian history; its chief artistic monuments are successive temples of the goddess Hathor from the 6th Dynasty (c. 2325–c. 2150 bc) to the 2nd century ad (see fig.). The site stands to the south of the Nile, about 1 km away at the edge of the low desert. The temples stand within a high mud-brick enclosure wall and occupy the north-west part of the sacred space. The site was cleared by Auguste Mariette in the mid-19th century, and work continued sporadically until about 1960.

Activity of Pepy I (reg c. 2289–c. 2256 bc) is referred to in the Greco-Roman temple and attested by a fine statue. The 11th-Dynasty king Mentuhotpe II (reg c. 2008–c. 1957 bc) built a chapel to Hathor and her son Harsomtus which also celebrated his own status (Cairo, Egyp. Mus.). This chapel still stood in the time of Merneptah (...

Article

(b Givry, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, Jan 4, 1747; d Paris, April 28, 1825).

French museum director, writer, graphic artist, collector, archaeologist and diplomat. He was the son of a provincial aristocrat. He went to Paris to further his law studies c. 1765 but entered the studio of Noël Hallé. He became Gentleman-in-Ordinary to Louis XV and was appointed keeper of the collection of engraved gems and medals that Mme de Pompadour had left to the King. In 1772 he entered the diplomatic service as attaché to the French embassy at St Petersburg, he was subsequently posted to Stockholm, Geneva (where his disrespectful engraving Repast at Ferney, of 4 July 1775, angered Voltaire) and, from spring 1776, Naples. There he became acquainted with Sir William Hamilton, the British ambassador, and made many drawings of his future wife Emma. Denon began to acquire a diverse collection of paintings and engravings as well as antiquities from excavations at Nola, Catania, Agrigento, Pompeii and Herculaneum. He purchased the painting of the ...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Nairobi, 1958).

Kenyan photographer, multimedia and performance artist, and teacher of Indian descent, active in the USA. DeSouza was born in Kenya to Indian parents. Raised in London from the age of 7, he called his background that of a ‘double colonial history’. DeSouza attended Goldsmiths College in London and the Bath Academy of Art, and although he has worked primarily in photography and as a writer on contemporary art, he has also branched out into performance art, digital painting, and textual and mixed media arts. He moved to the USA in 1992 and in 2012 became of Head of Photography at the University of California, Berkeley.

The primary themes in deSouza’s work are those of colonial encounter, seen in Indigena/Assimilado (1998), a photographic series of migrant workers in Los Angeles; migration, as explored in Threshold (1996–8), his early photographic series of airports empty of people; exile, which he explored in ...

Article

Ann Poulson

[Verginie, Jean Dimitre]

(b Alexandria, Aug 6, 1904; d Athens, Aug 2, 1970).

Greek fashion designer based in Paris. Dessès was born in Egypt to Greek parents and arrived in Paris in the 1920s to study law and diplomacy. By 1925 he had changed his mind and was employed as a designer for Maison Jane. He left Maison Jane to open his own couture house in 1937 at 37, Avenue George V, eventually moving to 17, Avenue Matignon. Dessès is best known for his silk chiffon evening gowns draped asymmetrically in a Neo-classical style.

Though Dessès was raised in Egypt, he considered Greece his native land and the influence of Greek antiquity is clearly seen in his signature draped evening gowns. In appearance they resembled garments represented in ancient sculpture, but in construction they were more closely allied to the moulded and heavily structured gowns of the 19th century, being mounted on corseted bodices and stiffened petticoats. Over this foundation he skilfully manouevered the fabric into pleats and twists, bunches and braids, occasionally releasing it into a flowing scarf. When Dessès used materials stiffer than his favourite silk chiffon, he would often incorporate similar techniques, using sunray pleating or knotting the material, sometimes gathering it at the hips to suggest paniers....

Article

David Koloane

(b Vryherd, June 25, 1956).

South African printmaker. After attending secretarial school, she received her Fine Arts diploma from the Rorke’s Drift Art School in 1979. She played a major role in the Thupelo International Artists Workshop (see South Africa, Republic of §V 4.). Her socialist realist linocuts and woodcuts are always political, documenting such historical events as the 1976 Soweto uprising as well as less overtly political activities such as women working. Much of her work seeks to give voice to womens’ histories, both rural and urban; the viewer is confronted with South African life as seen and experienced by black women. Working in series, the artist presents in each image a narrative scene, but each works with others to tell a more complete story, as in the Removal Series (1982; Durban, A.G.). Large areas of black in these prints suggest the loneliness of an individual seated by a wall, or the overcrowded conditions of urban areas. Lines evoke the patterns of fields, cloth designs and woven mats, and give the images a dynamic quality. Dhlomo-Mautloa is married to Patrick Mautloa, and her prints have appeared in ...

Article

Simon Njami

(b Karentaba, 1954).

Senegalese painter and furniture designer. He graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure d’Education Artistique and the International School of Art and Research, Nice. He taught at the Ecole Nationale des Arts and in 1997 was president of the National Association of Fine Arts, Senegal, as well as a member of the Economic and Social Council of Senegal. In the 1980s his ‘dense and emotive’ works were figurative and dealt with general issues such as violence. His work of the mid-1990s was made with strips of cotton cloth, fashioned on canvases so as to create areas of three-dimensional relief, and colored with browns and ochres. He also created brightly coloured figurative acrylic pieces on paper. He exhibited in the first (1995) and second (1997) Johannesburg Biennale and at other international shows in Senegal, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, Burkina-Faso, Argentina, the USA and elsewhere. His furniture designs include a table made from old machinery parts, gears, hoes and glass, which was included in Dak’Art ’98. In the late 1990s he was considered one of Senegal’s pre-eminent artists....

Article

Elizabeth L. Meyers

[Egyp. Hut-sekhem; now Hiw.]

Site in Egypt about 50 km west of modern Qena, occupied continuously from prehistoric to Roman times. A large variety of Predynastic tombs and associated artefacts (including amulets, beads and slate and ivory statuettes of animals) have survived, indicating that Diospolis flourished during this phase. The earliest finds date from the Tasian–Badarian period (c. 4000 bc). The site was first excavated by Flinders Petrie in 1899, providing some of the information for his ‘sequence dating’ system of pottery styles, which led directly to the establishment of a Predynastic chronology. Renewed excavation at the site in the 1980s allowed this ceramic material to be re-examined, producing greater refinement and broad corroboration of Petrie’s system.

The excavations have also revealed about 40 burials of the 4th or 5th dynasties (c. 2575–c. 2325 bc), as well as a number of shallow pit graves dating to the 6th–11th dynasties (...

Article

Rupert Featherstone

Article

Djemila  

T. W. Potter

[anc. Cuicul.]

Roman town in Algeria, founded c. ad 97 as a colony for army veterans. It was given a local, non-Roman name (Cuicul), but its modern name Djemila (Arab.: ‘beautiful’) is a fitting description for one of the most picturesque sites in North Africa. It lies 60 km from the Mediterranean Sea in rugged, mountainous but fertile countryside, its well-defended position enhanced by the construction of defences enclosing an area of some 200×400 m. The uneven topography necessitated a polygonal arrangement of walls, but within them the streets were laid out in orderly, parallel lines. Systematic excavation since 1909 has revealed many of the internal squares and buildings.

The gate into the colony is still standing; from here the cardo maximus leads to the forum, a great square with elegant porticos on two sides. Here also was the capitolium, the curia, the judicial basilica and a macellum (market building). The basilica (built after ...

Article

Mark Dike DeLancey

[Jenne] [Friday Mosque]

Malian mosque that was built in 1906–7 in the Sudanese style under the direction of master mason Ismaïla Traoré. Local historical traditions state that a mosque was first built on this site in the 12th century, replacing the palace of Djenné’s ruler Koi Konboro after he converted to Islam. By the turn of the 20th century the mosque was in ruins.

The mosque’s heavy earthen walls (see fig.) are inset with wooden timbers that act as scaffolding for replastering, while numerous pilasters create a sense of verticality. The horizontal emphasis of the eastern qibla wall is broken by three huge towers, creating a rhythmic alternation of reserved horizontal wall surfaces and projecting vertical towers. Towers in the centre of the north and south walls provide rooftop access for the call to prayer via internal staircases. A monumental entrance on the north side is composed of three projecting pillars enclosing two deep recesses. Seven projections at the top of the portal echo the tops of the pilasters extending beyond the roofline of the mosque walls....

Article

[Jibuti; Arab. Jumhūriyya al-Jibuti; formerly French Somaliland (1896–1967), French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (1967–77).]

Country on the north-east coast of Africa, bordered by Eritrea to the north, by Ethiopia to the west and south-west, and by Somalia to the south. Djibuti gained independence in 1977. The official languages are French and Arabic. About 89% of the total land area of c. 22,000 sq. km is desert. Most of the population live in the capital and port of Djibuti city with the remainder following a nomadic way of life. This entry covers the art produced in Djibuti since colonial times. (For art of the region in earlier periods see Africa §VII 2..)

Djibuti city was founded in 1888 and doubled in size between 1896 and 1899. During this period there was much building in the colonial style: streets were also laid out. The port, which handles about half of Ethiopia’s trade, is the basis of the country’s economy. The population (395,000; UN estimate, 1989...

Article

Dogon  

Kate Ezra

Gur-speaking people numbering c. 250,000 who live in c. 700 villages in Mali, east of the confluence of the Niger and Bani rivers. They are particularly renowned for their figure sculpture, masking traditions, and architecture. Major collections of Dogon art include that made by the French ethnologist Marcel Griaule in the 1930s (now in Paris, Mus. Homme; see also 1985 exh. cat., nos 12–28). Other important collections were made by Leo Frobenius and can be found at the Museen für Völkerkunde in Berlin and Hamburg. Many private collections resulted from the interest in the Dogon and their geographical predecessors, the Tellem, that began in the 1950s. One of the finest private collections, that of Lester Wunderman, is now divided between the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Musée Dapper, Paris.

There were a number of early studies of the Dogon (Desplagnes, Frobenius, and Arnaud), but much of the scholarly knowledge of Dogon art and culture is the result of research by a group of French scholars led by ...