23 Nov 2016 02 Apr 2017

Du Jourdain au Congo

Art and Christianity in Central Africa

Female Christs, figures of saints with African features, necklaces with crosses... The encounter of the Kongo peoples of Central Africa with Christian religion and art has given rise, since the 15th century, to an extraordinary production of objects - five centuries of an artistic cross-cultural mix and strongly influenced exchanges.

About the exhibition

1482: the Portuguese navigator Diego Cão discovered the mouth of the Congo River and came into contact with the vast kingdom of the Kongo - a territory that includes today's Gabon, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo. The evangelisation of one of the most powerful monarchies on the African continent was rapidly implemented: the conversion of the ruling elites of this colonial empire marked the beginning of five centuries of Christianisation.

The exhibition presents around one hundred works of Christian inspiration (crucifixes, sculptures, pendants, engravings and drawings) from private and public collections in Europe. Introduced by Catholic missionaries, these objects, often surprising to our Western regards, show the relationships of power and influence from the colonial period to the 20th century, and the cultural interpretation at work. For although the influence of Christian iconography on Kongo art and culture is undeniable, it is its reinterpretation by local artists and, by extension, the transformation of Catholic practices into a religious syncretism that has made it one of the symbols of emancipation in the face of European domination.

Du Jourdain au Congo, Art et...

Bande annonce de l'exposition "Du...


Around the event

Guided tours, workshops, concerts, etc.
all activities organized as part of the event

Around the event