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Acquisition by the MET

by Entwistle on 14 September 2015

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, has acquired a remarkable Hemba figure from Entwistle...

An important ancestor figure, singiti, from the Hemba peoples of the Luika River region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was recently acquired from Entwistle by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The figure dates to the 18th century and is a convergence of all the attributes which define a masterful sculptural representation of male power: equilibrium, symmetry, and refinement

The figure possesses an impressive provenance, having once been in the collections of Jacques Blanckaert, Brussels and Luciano (Lele) Lanfranchi, Milan before being sold by Entwistle to a private collection in New York


In addition, the figure has appeared in a number of important exhibitions, notably Cent Chefs-d'Oeuvre du Musée Ethnographique d'Anvers et de Collections Particulieres. Sculptures Africaines: Nouveau Regard sur un Héritage, held at the Marcel Peters Centrum in Antwerp in 1975; La Grande Scultura dell’Africa Nera, held at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence in 1989 and Le Grand Heritage: Sculptures de l’Afrique Noire, held at the Musée Dapper in Paris in 1992

The figure has also been widely published, notably in Ezio Bassani, Ed., La Grande Scultura dell’Africa Nera, Florence, 1989, p. 268, cat. 130; Ezio Bassani, Le Grand Heritage: Sculptures de l’Afrique Noire, Paris, 1992, p. 232; Pr. François Neyt, La Grande Statuaire Hemba du Zaire, Louvain-la- Neuve, 1977, pp. 258-259 ; p. 433, fig. 56 and back-cover; and John Pemberton III, Crosscurrents: Art of the Southeastern Congo, Northampton, MA, 2011, p. 54, cat. 42

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