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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Mayan Tall Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Tall Cylindrical Vessel - PF.3264
Origin: San Salvador, El Salvador
Circa: 550 AD to 850 AD
Dimensions: 9.25" (23.5cm) high
Catalogue: V24
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: Great Britain
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As brilliant as a setting sun, the warm hues of orange, red and brown painted on this vessel embrace our hearts and minds. The profile of a royal Maya female graces the center stage of the pictorial space. She is adorned with all the luxury of the ancient royal world with her necklace, ear spools, garment and headdress. She is holding something special in her band. She appears to look above her at the flower which protrudes directly forward from her high headdress. The petals of the flower have two scroll lines swirling forth from it on one side. The reverse side represents the same subject, but the petals of the flower have only one scroll line swirling forth from it. Everything else remains the same. The significance of this difference is an enigma. What is she doing? Could this beautiful vessel scene depict a pivotal point in an ancient Maya story? This idea is similar to the scenes depicted on ancient Greek vases from the Odyssey. There are three large glyph signs that run clown the length of the vessel. These glyph signs are similar to but not precisely the same as the glyph sign for sun. Underneath our intriguing royal Maya female is an "x" with clashes of color in between the triangles. The border encircling the top of the vessel bas repeated glyph signs. We are drawn again and again through this eloquent composition, charged with the rhythmic energy of color and the tangible history which rests in our hands. - (PF.3264)


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