About this artwork
One of four posts sculpted for the palace of the king (ogoga) of Ikere, this evocative image of the Yoruba concept of a divine ruler is a masterwork of Olowe of Ise. The renowned artist’s dynamic style can be distinguished by the interrelationships between figures, their exaggerated proportions, and the use of open space. The sculptor’s diminutive portrayal of the king suggests his dependence on others, and his crown has been emphasized to evoke the spiritual power residing within it. The towering image of the king’s senior wife standing behind him underscores her superior status as a guardian of her husband’s interests, endowed with keen political understanding and supernatural knowledge. She would have placed the crown on the king’s head during his enthronement ceremony. The smaller figures at the king’s feet represent one of his junior wives and the flute-playing trickster god Eshu.
- Olowe of Ise
- Veranda Post (Òpó Ògògá), Yoruba King and Wife
- Ikere (Object made in), Nigeria (Object made in), Africa (Object made in)
- Wood and pigment
- 152.5 × 31.8 × 40.6 cm (60 × 12 1/2 × 16 in.)
- Major Acquisitions Centennial Fund