Lesson 12: African Art 

Your Course:

  • 40 Lessons for only $ 69,50

  • No registration fee

  • Video lessons by 40 AI instructors

  • 24/7 support by Jacky, your AI assistant

  • High-quality texts and thousands of images

  • Study at your own pace

  • The best price for the highest quality

  • Start within a few minutes

What You Will Learn:

  • Explore All Art Movements and Periods

    You will learn about all the leading art movements and periods, such as primitive art, ancient Greek art, the Renaissance, Romanticism, Impressionism, Modernism, and contemporary art. There is also a lot of attention to non-Western art, such as Islamic Art, Hindu Art, Chinese Art, Oceanic Art and African Art, and the globalization of the art world.

  • All Famous Artists and Their Masterpieces

    The course covers important artists like Sultan Muhammad, Fan Kuan, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Utagawa Hiroshige, Vincent van Gogh, Ilya Repin, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Banksy and many more, and discusses their most influential works.

  • Cultural and Historical Context

    Our courses also focus on the study of the cultural, social, political, and economic contexts in which artworks are created.

  • Various Media and Techniques

    You will explore different art forms and techniques, such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital art.

Introduction to this course:

 

African art encompasses all art created south of the Sahara Desert. In the region north of this desert, Islamic art predominates. Many Africans from the sub-Saharan region were transported to the American continent during the period of the slave trade, resulting in the African diaspora. The art produced by many descendants of these slaves can also be classified as African art, for instance, in the Caribbean, although there can be debate about whether this constitutes a distinct art form.

Vrouw met baby, een Afrikaans-Caribisch kunstwerk uit Jamaica
Image: Woman with baby, by an unknown artist in Jamaica. It is a good example of modern Caribbean art, created by descendants of African slaves. This kind of artwork is popular among tourists visiting Jamaica.
Location: This artwork from Jamaica, Woman with baby, is part of the collection of the Gooise Gallery, an online gallery in the Netherlands. ©Ronnie Rokebrand.

The art objects made from natural materials such as wood and stone were used in rituals and ceremonies to honor ancestors, promote fertility, seek a bountiful harvest, or support divine kingship. We refer to this as traditional African art, while the art produced today is referred to as contemporary African art. It’s worth noting that contemporary art often retains traditional influences. We must keep in mind that there is a great diversity of tribes on the African continent, resulting in a wide variety of artistic expressions.

Zuid-Afrikaanse schaal van aardewerk en in aarden kleuren, vervaardigd volgens een traditioneel concept.Image: An earthenware bowl from South Africa. This modern bowl is hand-painted in earthy colors and adorned with some beads to enhance its beauty. The bowl is crafted following a traditional concept.
Location: This South African earthenware bowl is part of the collection of the Gooise Gallery, an online gallery in the Netherlands. ©Ronnie Rokebrand.

However, there are also similarities, especially in traditional African art. What’s striking is the simplicity of these crafted artworks. African tribes believed that these artistic expressions possessed magical powers. In this sense, it is a typical example of primitive art. The role of simplicity and the magical subconscious in African art were important sources of inspiration for Western artists, including the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), the fauvist painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954), and the cubists Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Georges Braque (1882-1963). Furthermore, sculpture, in all its forms, is the predominant art form in Africa.

Afrikaans beelden van Masai vrouwen uit 2004
Image: Two bronze sculptures of Masai women by Stacey Bayne, a sculptor from the United States. These bronze sculptures with stone bases are named “Mosi, she is the first” (left) and “Fujo, full of life” (right). They were cast in 2004 and created by Soul Journeys in an edition of 2000 sculptures, representing some of the highlights of this artist’s work.
Location: Both bronze sculptures are part of the collection of the Gooise Gallery. ©Ronnie Rokebrand.

Traditional African Art

The ancient traditions of the numerous tribes spread across Africa have a long history of creating traditional African artworks. As mentioned in the text in the previous paragraph, almost all of these artworks were used in rituals and ceremonies, sometimes with a practical purpose. We are all familiar with the many forms of masks, worn to depict supernatural spirits or deceased characters.

A mask of the Fang people. The Fang are an ethnic group living in West Africa; most of them reside in Equatorial Guinea (80% of the population). They speak their own language, Fang, also known as Pangwe, and are renowned for their centuries-old skill in wood carving. The easily recognizable masks with narrowed eyes served various purposes, including peace negotiations between villages, protection against evil and danger during nighttime, during the initiation of new tribe members, and in legal proceedings.
Location: The mask was crafted in a village in the Altos de Nsork National Park, Equatorial Guinea. The mask is privately owned.
Image: A mask of the Fang people. The Fang are an ethnic group living in West Africa; most of them reside in Equatorial Guinea (80% of the population). They speak their own language, Fang, also known as Pangwe, and are renowned for their centuries-old skill in wood carving. The easily recognizable masks with narrowed eyes served various purposes, including peace negotiations between villages, protection against evil and danger during nighttime, during the initiation of new tribe members, and in legal proceedings.
Location: The mask was crafted in a village in the Altos de Nsork National Park, Equatorial Guinea. The mask is privately owned.

error: Content is protected !!

This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website.