Gaboon Viper. The incredibly beautiful, highly geometric pattern of the Gaboon viper’s (Bitis gabonica) skin is both striking in isolation and perfectly camouflaged to the forest floors where this spectacular snake dwells. Virtually unseen among the leaf litter, once removed from its environment the pattern and forms of this snake become revealed, displaying the same dramatic geometry that frequently appears in African textiles from the region. Repeating triangles of warm and cool browns are punctuated by slashes of deep black with flourishes and rectangles of pale gold repeating down the body. A stripe of lavender-blue winds its way along the backbone from the neck to the tail. Highlighting both the sculptural beauty of this snake as well as the incredible skills of the patina artists, all of the colors of this sculpture are the natural tones of bronze: the palest colors are raised and polished and the deepest tones are incised with each tone of brown created by chemical reactions of the metal to acids.
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