by Dr. Lori Verderame
Sculptures of Verdite
The beautiful African art shown here are Shona pieces from Zimbabwe. They are carved from verdite, a semi-precious stone. Highly sought-after, tribal art from Africa is particularly popular and collectible.
The pieces that are displayed here are interesting contemporary figural sculptures from Zimbabwe where verdite is a native stone. These pieces derive directly from Zimbabwe carvers and possess great historical value and beautiful designs.
This type of African sculpture is called Shona sculpture. The pieces are carved from the semi-precious stone native to Zimbabwe called verdite. Verdite is believed to possess powers that promote fertility. For centuries, this stone has remained popular as a material for the production of African sculpture and jewelry. Verdite occurs in nature in a variety of shades ranging from golden brown to rich emerald green. While there are very few natural deposits of verdite, the best known verdite reserves are located in Zimbabwe.
While African sculpture can stand alone in any exhibition or display, I like to show my African art alongside of other types of art. For instance, modern art is a good companion for African pieces since there is such a strong connection between the two art styles and forms. Picasso, Braque, Matisse and other early modernists collected African art and studied its forms. These artists then applied the look of African art to their own artwork.
Shona sculpture is produced in both an abstract manner and in a highly realistic style. The pieces are highly detailed yet other Shona works, though high in quality, may take on a more abstract form. Major collections are collecting Shona sculpture to their existing collections to form thought-provoking visual relationships about African art. African culture promotes the prominence of fertility, procreation, and childbearing. The culture’s symbols and its art often demonstrate the importance of reproduction and continuance of the line. This piece informs that belief.
Request an online appraisal of your African Shona piece from Dr. Lori.