Visual Art Paper 1 ,May/June 2012  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments




  1. State three similarities and two differences between the art of Ife and Benin.


This question was popular among the candidates, who mostly do not seem to have a proper understanding of the terms “similarities” and “differences”. Rather than stating these, candidates concentrated on the history of the two kingdoms. Some candidates even described Ife art as abstract while Benin art was described as naturalistic. These wrong responses earned candidates poor marks. However, they should have answered the question by giving some of the following points:
                        -           bronze is a common medium.
-           they are both located in Nigeria.
                        -           they both belong to the realm of Court art.
                        -           Commemorative royal heads are common subject matter.
-           the bronze works of both Ife and Benin are produced through the cire-perdue technique.
-           ornamentation with beads is common to both art traditions.

-           apart from bronze, Ife art included terra-cotta and stone while Benin art included ivory and wood.
-           animal representation features prominently in Benin art while in Ife art, human representation is prevalent.
-           human representation in Benin art is more of heads (commemorative) of Obas, while in Ife art, representation of heads are combined with the dominant full human figures. 
-           Ife heads and figures have profuse scarification while Benin heads and masks have marks on their forehead.
-           Most Benin art works are stylized while Ife art works are naturalistic.


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