Metro News

Ben Enwonwu’s 1974 Painting of Ife Princess To Sell For £300K

Ben Enwonwu’s 1974 painting of an Ile-Ife princess will be sold in London on 28 February and may bring a record cost of between £200,000 to £300,000.

The work of art was that of Princess Adetutu Ademiluyi and had been announced missing for a considerable length of time until the point that it was found in a North London level as of late.

A Nigerian family gave out the paint to Giles Peppiatt, the executive of present day African workmanship at the bartering house Bonhams. The relatives said it was acquired from their dad.

Such is the foreseen enthusiasm for the paint that “its appearance available is a pivotal occasion”, said Peppiatt – the deal will likewise be communicated live to bidders in Lagos.

It is relied upon to offer for amongst £200,000 and £300,000. In the event that it goes over as far as possible it will set another record for a cutting edge Nigerian craftsman.


Known as Tutu, the paint is a national symbol in Nigeria, with publication proliferations holding tight dividers in homes everywhere throughout the nation.

The craftsman, Enwonwu, viewed as the establishing father of Nigerian innovation, painted three adaptations of Tutu and the picture turned into an image of national compromise. In any case, every one of the three were lost and turned into the subject of much hypothesis.

The Nigerian author Ben Okri said it added up to “the most noteworthy revelation in contemporary African craftsmanship in more than 50 years, as indicated by

It is the main genuine Tutu, the likeness some uncommon archeological find. It is a reason for festivity, a possibly changing minute in the realm of craftsmanship.”

Okri, writing in the prospective Bonhams magazine, said he trusted Tutu’s rediscovery would help achieve a more extensive re-assessment of African workmanship.

“Customary African figure assumed an original part in the introduction of innovation in the early years of the twentieth century, yet current African craftsmen are completely missing from the tale of craftsmanship,” he said.

“This is an oversight that desperately needs amendment if the workmanship world does not have any desire to suggest that contemporary Africa has made no commitments to the world’s masterful accomplishments.”

Okri said Enwonwu was at that point widely acclaimed as the best living African craftsman when, in the late spring of 1973, three years after the finish of the Nigerian common war, he experienced the princess and was hypnotized, requesting to paint her representation.

Enwonwu was a student at Goldsmiths, Ruskin College, Oxford, and the Slade in England in the 1940s.

He became more widely known when he was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of the Queen during her visit to Nigeria in 1956, a work that now stands at the entrance of the parliament buildings in Lagos.

However, Tutu is regarded as his greatest masterpiece – the image was on display at his funeral in 1994.

The whereabouts of the other Tutu paintings remains a mystery


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