Iconographic Analysis of the Masterpieces of the British-Ghanaian Mixed Media Artist, Godfried Donkor


  • Samuel Prophask Asamoah Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Dickson Adom Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • George Kushiator Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology




iconography, Godfried Donkor, mixed media, contemporary art in Ghana, modern art in Ghana


African artists from different ethnic societies have contributed massively to global art history. However, sadly, there has been scanty scholarly documentation of their journey as well as their works. One of such great artists is Godfried Donkor, a British-Ghanaian mixed-media artist. The paper delves into his personal life, educational background, his journey as an artist, and his accomplishments in the development of art in the global and Ghanaian contexts. The paper analyzes two of his works using Erwin Panofsky's procedure of iconography in art historical writing. The findings of the study revealed that it was difficult in drawing a clear line between modernism and contemporary as far as Donkor's artistic creations are concerned. Donkor's works can be considered as a merger of modernist and contemporary art movements. He uses a contemporary artistic approach to communicate/highlights issues of the period of the African diasporic modernism movement especially, the themes that revolve around colonialism and its impacts, racial discrimination/oppression, their legacy, and Afrocentric identities. This was the period when the Africans in the diaspora, especially in the United States and Europe were struggling for a breakthrough to showcase their art and culture to the world. These concepts have been the primacy of Donkor’s creative expressions. The study contends that Ghanaian artists, both locally and internationally are advancing in their careers and need to be documented as a step in promoting the artists and the arts of the country on the global art landscape.


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