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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Standing Male Vessel
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Standing Male Vessel - PF.4066
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 300 BC to 500 AD
Dimensions: 21.5" (54.6cm) high
Catalogue: V25
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This vessel is extremely interesting due to its subject matter and the vivid way in which it has been executed. The entire front of this vessel has been sculpted into the shape of a man dressed in ceremonial costume. In his hands he holds a bowl that would contain an offering. The beaded jewelry on his wrists and around his neck even out the composition that includes an elaborate headpiece wears. The polychrome colors in subtle earth tones lend a special beauty and artistry to the piece. The expressive face demonstrates the skill of the artist and the ability to create a true sense of realism. The function of the vessel was for important ceremonies, so not only was it functional but also pleasing to the eye. Though we know a great deal about the life and ceremonies that took place at this time in Central America, understanding the background of a work of art is not always as easy, yet this adds a certain amount of intrigue to the piece, as we try to reconstruct the past with our imagination, and give the piece a life of its own. - (PF.4066)


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