African Venus

If you missed it, we posted two new stories to Read them today!

This beautiful sculpture, named African Venus, was created by French sculptor Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier (1827-1905). African Venus was one of several pieces that established him as an ethnographer, or one who studied and modeled various peoples of other cultures.

A young African woman served as the model for this piece in 1851. Regarded as a powerful expression of nobility and dignity, this sculpture proved to be highly popular: the casts for this and a companion one of an African man were acquired by the Museum of National History in Paris and also by Queen Victoria. These bronzes were esteemed by 19th-century viewers as expressions of human pride and dignity in the face of grave injustice. Said Cordier, “The most beautiful Negro is not the one who looks most like us.” This piece is in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

African Venus was done in 1851. Looking closely, one cannot overlook her beauty and her hair. Is it locs? Looks like it to us. That only adds to her stunning beauty.

(Thanks to Yekutiel Azor for bringing this piece to our attention!)


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