Figure of a Portuguese

Physical Chareteristics
The figure not only indicates a turning point in the technical and artistic, but also far-reaching in the economic and political development of the Benin Empire. From the end of the 15th century, Portuguese seafarers were in trade contact with the Oba and supplied coveted goods such as metals, which led to an upswing in the brass foundry, which was only reserved for the king. The illustrations of Portuguese in art, especially in the form of massive metal figures, served as synonyms for status, power and wealth of the ruler’s increased prestige. In a religious and spiritual context, Portuguese images also symbolized a connection to Olokun, the god of water and the seas, because the Portuguese appeared with their ships from his kingdom, the sea.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 45 x 38.5 x 20.5 cm, 14000 g