Tall African Carved Wood Mask
This striking large wooden mask was hand carved in Africa for sale rather than ritual use. It resembles the ceremonial masks of the Bembe people with exaggerated, owl-like eye sockets with almond-shaped, incised slits. The nose and round mouth are simple geometric projections. It's decorated on the sides, base and up onto the high, rounded forehead with carved line designs.
The mask measures 19 inches from top to bottom, 6 inches across at the top and 7 1/4 wide at the bottom, where it projects 2 inches. It weighs approximately 1 1/2 pounds and is in very good condition. There's a leather thong on the back and a gouged-out hole, both for hanging, but the mask can also be propped on a shelf or stand.
Artists like Picasso and Modigliani* were greatly influenced by African Art, especially masks like this one, which foreshadowed cubism and to a degree, the Modern Art movement. This mask makes a graphic artistic statement wherever it's exhibited.
* If you Google the limestone sculpture titled "Tête" by Modigliani, you will immediately see the African inspiration.