An African statue on the cover of a French thriller

grange congo requiem vili figure art

One encounters African art in the strangest places; yesterday I was leaving Paris as I ran into this advertisement for the new book of Jean-Christophe Grange in Gare du Nord. On the front cover, I spotted a famous zoomorphic figure from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Vili monkey figure was collected before 1884 and is currently in the collection of the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (Leiden, The Netherlands) – see it in its full glory below. I haven’t read the book, but apparently the antagonist of this thriller is called l’Homme Clou (‘the nail man’).

Vili monkey figure. Height: 35 cm. Image courtesy of the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Vili monkey figure. Height: 35 cm. Image courtesy of the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden, The Netherlands.