Signed and dated 1968 lower right. This is an important oil on canvas that celebrates the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It depicts Mobutu Sese Seko parading down the main street in Kinshasa, the capital and largest city of the country. The country was formerly called the Belgian Congo, until riots broke out in 1959 and Belgian authorities decided to pull out of the country and let the people govern themselves. The country became independent in 1960, and the painting is titled "Independence Day Parade" and dated 1968, when Mobutu was military dictator of the country. The motorcade is flanked by dignitaries on the right, Mobutu is wearing his military uniform, and the flag of the country can be seen on banners and the car Mobutu is standing in. Mobutu changed the country's name to Zaire in 1971. The painting is signed and dated 1968 in the lower left and the title is on the verso. If you look at the bottom of the red carpet leading to the President's
chair on the right, you'll see "Le 30 Juin 1968", which is June 30, the date the country gained its independence in 1960. The overall size is 49 x 70 1/4 in. wide. Provenance: the Hirsch estate.
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