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Goree Island: Sousverre

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Item 249a
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Product Description

Sousverre Glass Paintings: Authentic Africa is pleased to offer our clientÂ’s fine examples of a very old, traditional, West African art form. From the country of Senegal, on display below are four Sousverre paintings. Sousverre is the art of applying a drawing from a reflective perspective onto the backside of a plate of glass. In other words, if the Senegalese artist wished for a man to be seen pointing to the right, he must actually draw the man pointing to the left, since he is applying the paint to the backside of the glass. Needless to say this can be a very involved process. Sousverre painting was created so that the finished work would not be ruined by having the paint exposed to the elements, as it would be if it were applied to the front face of the glass. The art thusly, is sheltered, from the back, by protective boarding. The paintings are fragile, as they are all glass. They are sold unframed, which enables them to fit easily into pre-existing color schemes. Most of the selections are signed (some backwards!) and dated. On Display: Off the coast of Senegal, lies the infamous Goree Island; one of the last remaining slave ports in existence. The majority of the islands' captives were sent to the Carribean and America. Our selection depicts the 'sorting area.' As soon as the natives arrived on the island, they were herded into this space. Here it was determined whether an individual lived to see another day, granted as a slave, or sentenced to death on the spot. The condemned were literally thrown out of the back door(the blue square area in the picture), down onto the cliffs and out into the sea below because they were either too old or infirm to be of value. This painting contains no people but if you stare long enough, your minds' eye will allow the picture to fill itself in. Goree Island now serves as a museum.

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Dimensions: 19 inches across x 12 7/8 inches tall.

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