Bassa Family Mask - Liberia

This beautiful Bassa family mask bears an aura of profound focus and grace, drawing the gaze and holding it firmly. A peaked and classically projecting brow overhangs the eyes, elongated nose and broad cheeks that terminate in a pointed chin. The profile shows a graceful curve of refined strength. Smooth, unadorned facial planes contrast dramatically with the dense and heavily incised coiffure that crowns the mask. The mode of abstraction used by the carver, hinting at the geometric, lends this piece a deep sense of monumentality and calm not always found in other examples of its type.

 

First half of 20th century
Wood
6 ½ ”h  4” w
Provenance: Private European collection; private collection of an artist; private Dutch collection
#555
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