Gora Mbengue was a member of the Tijaan, a Senegalese Sufi movement devoted to the teachings of al-Hajj Malick Sy, a local Muslim saint. This painting depicts al-Buraq, the winged horse with a woman’s head on which the prophet Muhammad flew the mi’raj, his nocturnal journey to heaven to meet God. Al-Buraq has also been adapted as an emblem for miraculous success in business in the region.
Reverse glass painting (souwère), a technique that had developed by 1900 in Senegal’s cities, was banned by the French colonial government in 1908. Works such as Al-Buraq are a part of collective memory and resistance that has since spread throughout Dakar.
- Artist: Gora Mbengue, 1931-1988
- Culture: Wolof
- Medium: Glass, paint
- Place Made: Dakar, Senegal
- Dates: 1975
- Dimensions: 13 1/2 x 19 1/4 in. (34.3 x 48.9 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: M'Beingue
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 2004.52.21
- Credit Line: Gift of Blake Robinson
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Gora Mbengue (1931-1988). Al-Buraq, 1975. Glass, paint, 13 1/2 x 19 1/4 in. (34.3 x 48.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Blake Robinson, 2004.52.21. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Figure of Al-Buraq (winged half human, half horse) painted on glass with gold metal frame. Condition good.
- Record Completeness: Best (86%)