Guardian Figure

Lumbu, Gabon
Late 19th - Early 20th cent.
Wood, glass, copper, pigments
31,5 cm 



Ex Colonial French Collection
Galerie Bernard Dulon, Paris
Private Collection, Paris
Dalton Somaré Gallery, Milan
Anna Demina Collection, Milan 


Les Lumbu. Un Art Sacré, Charlotte Grand-Dufay, 2016, p. 151
Un’Avventura Estetica, Galleria Dalton Somaré, Milan, 2018, pp. 9-11
Tendencias del Mercado del Arte, Madrid, Junio 2018, n. 114, front cover page

CULTURES, The World Art fair, Bruxelles, June 2018, Catalogue, p. 23 
Origins, A Vision on African Art, Dalton Somaré Gallery, Milan, 2019, pp. 54/57


BRAFA Art Fair, Galerie Bernard Dulon, Bruxelles, January 2016 - Winter Bruneaf, Bruxelles, Jan. 2017
AMART, Palazzo della Permanente, Milano, May 2018 


The use of colour, so rare in the works of art from Western Africa, is one of the characteristics of the Art from Equatorial Africa, which combines painting and carving. In this rare Lumbu head the colours used are white, red and blue. White (kaolin) symbolises moon, peace and reproductive capacity. Red 
(tukula) stands for power, anger and maturity. Blue (Guimet - from the name of its inventor) was widely used in Central Africa as a textile dye since the beginning of the 18th century.
This woman’s head, carved with great care and attention to details, had the task to watch over the basket that contained the memories of the ancestors. The use of polychromy concurs to the strength of the vigilant gaze of its big glass eyes.
The sweetness of the expression of the face is transfigured by the authority of the red stripes which cross the forehead and the cheeks and converge towards the wide open eyes, highlighting the amazement of the half open mouth.
The hair is collected in a braid known as Kodia, named after the conch of which it reminds the shape.
The great elegance and sensibility of this sculpture makes it an outstanding example of this style.