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Crouching Figure

A work made of wood and pigment.

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  • A work made of wood and pigment.


Late 19th/early 20th century


Luluwa, Nsapo, or Songye
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa

About this artwork

As a sculpture, this work is striking from both frontal and profile perspectives. The artist employed tense forms, repetition, and angularity to suggest a pregnant moment of repose before action. The stillness of the figure is not one of relaxation and calm—despite the serene facial expression—but of tension and anticipation. The seated figure with elbows touching knees was a common pose in sculpture from West and south central Africa during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This work is from the southern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was carved by a Luluwa, Nsapo, or Songye artist. Most art produced by these groups were privately owned and were employed in pre-colonial times to mediate between the living and the ancestral realm and to impart protection and good fortune onto their owners.


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Arts of Africa




Crouching Figure


Democratic Republic of the Congo (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Wood and pigment


29.2 × 8.9 × 12.7 cm (11 1/2 × 3 1/2 × 5 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Anne R. Whipple and Jay Whipple in memory of Anne's son, W. Philip McNulty III

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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