A global traveler, Francesco Clemente has made several extended trips to Brazil, where he studied Candomblé, a pantheistic religion that came from West Africa in the sixteenth century by means of the international slave trade. Still practiced today, Candomblé venerates the forces of nature. With Prosperity, Clemente draws on the iconography of Candomblé to express his own beliefs in mystical renewal. Three orixás, or deities, are presented in an altar-like tableau: Iemanjá, the blue goddess of the ocean; Oxóssi, the green god of the forest and the hunt; and Oxum, the golden goddess of calm water.


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Artist
Francesco Clemente, Italian, born 1952
Title
Prosperity
Date
2014
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
72 × 72 in. (182.9 × 182.9 cm)
Credit Line

Gift of the Alex Katz Foundation

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2016.75
Classification
Painting
Provenance

The artist; Alex Katz Foundation, New York, 2015; given to MFAH, 2016.