A Bete master carver
During the current anniversary exhibition we present a Bete figure. Indigenous name Kolé
This is one of the rare, large, Bete figures that are known. These figures depict a deceased chiefs. It is a wooden statue, height 87 cm. There is an old iron repair to the left foot. The image comes from Reginald Groux.What makes this even more special is that the sculptor is well known.
Here we see a picture of a famous sculpture from the Museum of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It is of the same sculptor.
Height 80 cm. This picture was exhibited in 1985 in the Rietberg Museum in Zurich. Then in Grand Palais, Paris, in 1989. It was also published in ‘Die Kunst der Guro’ and in ‘Corps sculptés, corps parés, corps masqués. Chefs-d’oeuvre de Côte-d’Ivoire.’
This figure was first exhibited at Galerie Alain Bovis in 2004. This image was acquired by a Frenchman who lived in Ivory Coast in 1922. It was never published before. Again the eyes, mouth, arms, hands, calves and toes that resemble each other.
Material wood, height 74 cm.
This figure was photographed in a German collection by Ferry Herrebrugh.
It is published in ‘Kust der Elfenbeinküste, / Art of Ivory Coast’ by Karl Ferdinand Schaedler, Munich 2001.
Height 83 cm. Besides all the aforementioned similarities, here too the tatouage is the same as in our first picture.
Finally, a figure of the same hand, published in ‘Arts premiers de Côte d ‘Ivoire’ by Alain-Michel Boyer, Patrick Girard and Marceau Riviere.
The height is 75 cm, it belongs to a French private collection. The object comes from the region of Daloa, a major Bete city in central Ivory Coast.
In short, our image is part of a series of five large images that are attributable to the same important Bete master.
We call him the ‘master of the smiling figures’