Let The Story Be Told

to Roy Midwinter: for his musicianship and his humanity.

Time is passing,
So let the story be told.
It is long overdue,
So let the story unfold:
Of the African influence on European art.

Let us start with Vlaminck,
And that bar in Argenteuil.
Where a round of drinks,
Began his African zeal:
Art of the Yoruba and the Baule.

Onward to Derain,
Who was given a Fang mask.
Enjoyed his first drink,
From the African flask:
The Fang of Gabón and Cameroon.

Matisse bought a statue,
From a curio shop.
Took it to a saloñ,
Observed the jaws that dropped:
A Vili statuette from the Congo.

Picasso saw the Vili figure,
Evening of enchantment.
He yearned to see more,
So to the Trocodero he went:
Sculpture of West and Central África.

(c) Natty Mark Samuels, 2020. African School.

Vlaminck – Maurice de Vlaminck, 20th century French artist.

Yoruba – people of south-west Nigeria.

Baule – people of central lvory Coast.

Derain – André Derain, 20th century French artist.

Matisse – Henri Matisse, 20th century French artist.

Vili – people of Democratic Repúblic of the Congo.

Picasso – Pablo Picasso, 20th century Spanish artist.

Trocodero – Parisian ethnographic museum

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