Skip Navigation

Kneeling Female Figure

Yoruba, Areogun of Osi

Arts of Africa

Attributing a specific piece of ritual African art to a particular artist is seldom possible, in part because the artists often perpetuated the myth that the objects were not the work of human beings, and also because the original collectors of these pieces rarely inquired about the artists' names. This piece, however, has been attributed to Areogun of Osi, one of the most prominent Yoruba artists of the twentieth century. His distinctive style is identifiable in the figure's elaborate openwork headdress, proportionally large ears, and curved breasts.

Kneeling female figures, often nude, are common in Yoruba religious art. In this pose, the figure represents a supplicant before the orisha, or deity, on whose altar it is placed. The image beautifies the altar and thereby honors orisha.

MEDIUM Wood
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 8 1/2 x 2 x 2 1/2 in. (21.6 x 5.1 x 6.4 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1992.70
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gerofsky in honor of Ruth Lippman
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Yoruba. Kneeling Female Figure, late 19th or early 20th century. Wood, 8 1/2 x 2 x 2 1/2 in. (21.6 x 5.1 x 6.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gerofsky in honor of Ruth Lippman, 1992.70. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE side, profile, 1992.70_profile_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Kneeling female figure on small rectangular base. Figure wears prominent neck collar, series of bracelets covering forearms, earrings, and double strand of beads around waist. Elaborate oval coiffure with raised saggittal ridge. Exaggerated delineation of facial features--especially large "C" shaped ears. Series of three incised vertical scarification marks on each cheek. Breasts extend forward and curve outward, form echoed on smaller scale by raised naval. Hands and feet square in shape. Polished surface. Color: brown. CONDITION: Good.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (87%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.