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Cross

African Art

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Cross

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Kongo Artist, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Date

Mid seventeenth–mid eighteenth century

Medium

Bronze

Accession #

2005.319

Dimensions

7 3/4 × 4 3/4 × 5/8 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 401

Description

At the end of the fifteenth century, Christianity was introduced to the Kingdom of the Kongo, along the coast of central Africa. This influenced religious and artistic practices. Kongo artists created crosses and other objects of worship, combining their Kongolese and Christian iconography. Here, Christ’s face is given African features. Crosses were not only used in Christian liturgy but also served additional diverse functions, in healing, in divination, as symbols of social status and political authority, and as hunting charms.

Credit

Gift in memory of Lew C. Deadmore