505 - Small suffering man


The sculptural technique for ceramics, among other types of sculpture, generally takes advantage of simple lines, straight, fixed positions, a certain hieratic quality, a kind of solemnity.
Djenné on the other hand, frequently created forms depicting the contrary, twisted, sick bodies writhing in pain, covered with pustules or sores, in a word: tortured. The Djenné tradition is violent, very cruel and relentlessly realist.

Representations of the hierarcical war leaders or chiefs of a clan are often depicted riding a horse, a symbol of power. There, they seem to pose, proud and sovereign. The man that we have here is literally in the process of being twisted. Is he sick? Is he having an attack? It is represented straightforwardly enough as a convulsion. The piece is hard and powerful in spite of its modest dimensions. Picasso would not have renounced it...

H. 15 cm x L. 14 cm x D. 13 cm
14-17th century

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