ARTS: African art gains


`Mona Lisa’ fetches U.S$ 1.68m at auction

Kampala, Uganda | DOMINIC MUWANGUZI | A painting of an African princess from Nigeria’s Ife; the spiritual heartland of the Yoruba tribe, recently went under the hammer for more than U.S$ 1.68 million at the Bonhams Auction House in London. The African Mona Lisa portrait, like it has been fondly described by the western press and art critics across the globe, is by deceased Nigerian artist Ben Onwonwu; and is part of the series of three paintings painted by the artist between 1973 and 1974.

The African Mona Lisa has the subject matter `Adetutu Ademiluyi aka Tutu’ gracefully posing facing the audience with finely chiseled facial features and a willowy neck much familiar to royals. Her long dark flowing hair is tied in a small knot…

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