Du Jourdain au Congo

Art and Christianity in Central Africa

23 Nov2016 02 Apr2017

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.

  • Categorie : Exhibitions
  • Curator

    • Julien Volper, Doctor in History of Art, specialist curator for the Sub-Saharan Africa at the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren.
  • Place:  Mezzanine est
  • TimeSlots:  
    From Wednesday 23 November 2016 at Sunday 02 April 2017
  • Closed on monday
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday:  11:00 am-07:00 pm
    Thursday, Friday, Saturday:  11:00 am-09:00 pm
  • Public:   All publics
  • Permanent Collections
    Full price:  10,00 €
    Reduce rate:  7,00 €

    Twin ticket
    Full price:  12,00 €
    Reduce rate:  9,00 €

    Click here to see all rates
  • As part of:   2006-2016 : le musée fête ses 10 ans
00:00 / 00:00
Du Jourdain au Congo, Art et...

Bande annonce de l'exposition "Du...

2:4 min

The image show

Vue de l'exposition "Du Jourdain au Congo"

© musée du quai Branly, photo Patricia Lecomte

Around the event

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

Around the event

Partenaires Médias