Picasso’s works bear striking resemblances to these notable African pieces of art.


(1) Mbuya Mask, Pende peoples – Mask can be found in Royal Museum for Central Africa or RMCA, Tervuren, Belgium.
(2) Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).- Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 –  Painting  can be found in The Museum of Modern Art or MOMA, New York
(3) Nimba Mask, Baga peoples, Guinea
(4) Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).- Tête, 1907 (mine de plomb). Collection Jacqueline Picasso
(5) Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).- Horse, “Parade” (Cocteau, Diaghilev, 1917)
(6) Baulé Mask, Ivory Coast. Former Lévy Collection
(7) Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in “La Californie” House.- Photo Edward Quinn, ©edwardquinn.com
(8)  In “La villa La Californie” – Photo de Claude Picasso  (1973)

In its line from the forehead to the tip of the nose, we can see the inspiration for Picasso’s portraits and specificaly that of  Marie-Therese Walter.


Our LWALWA mask

Our mask presents geometrical features: a lozenge-shaped, concave face, rectangular eyes, a prominent circular black mouth.
Only three colours are used – red, white, black – which give rhythm and gracefulness.


Lwalwa people

Lwalwa origins are closely tied to the Kete, living in the North. Since the 17th century, the Lwalwa people, settled between the Lunda and Luba, refused to pay tribute.

The Lwalwa live near the Kasaï, between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
However, Lwalwa culture is closer to that of the Yaka and the Suku.


Lwalwa art is best known for its stylized and cubistic masks, in which the nose profile makes reference to the long beak of the calao bird in a concave face.
This Lwalwa mask is used during initiation and propitiatory ceremonies.


J. Van Overstaeten

Condition report

Excellent condition

Editor in chief & Expert


Coryse Mwape Dolin
Art Historian, African Arts


Marie-Louise Bastin.- Introduction aux Arts d’Afrique Noire. Arnouville, Arts d’Afrique Noire, 1984. p. 327.
Joseph A. Cornet.- Zaïre. Peuples, Art, Culture. Anvers, Fonds Mercator, 1989. p. 264.
William Rubin (dir.)Le Primitivisme dans l’art du 20e siècle. Les artistes modernes devant l’art tribal. 2 Vol. Paris, Flammarion, 1991.
Michael Kan and Roy Sieber.- African masterworks in the Detroit Institute of arts. Detroit, Detroit Institute of arts, 1995.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) à la Villa La Californie (G. Limbour 1957, 14)