Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Virgin of Oceania
Sculptures of the Virgin Mary, and Christian-influenced works in general, are extremely rare in the traditional Oceanic cultures of the Pacific, particularly pre-and-early 20th century. This example is exceptional in its purity of pre-Colonial stylization. Its masterful and intuitive modeling suggests the 20th c. sculptural works of Brancusi. It is, in our opinion, a masterpiece of Oceanic art and a singular example of European-Oceanic cultural synthesis.
The Portuguese began trading with Timor about 1520 and retained a colony on the eastern half of the island until 1976 when it was formally annexed by Indonesia. Christianity made inroads from the first colonization but most inhabitants retained their tribal religion of worshipping ancestors and other spirits.
Private Collection, East Timor, to 1997
Thomas Murray Ethnographic Art, 1997-98
Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, 1998
Fred R. Kline Gallery. "The Virgin of Oceania: Timor Island, 19th c.".
"The Virgin of Oceania: Timor Island, 19th c.": www.klinegallery.com from 2000
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