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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Babilonia Style Mayan Tripod Cylindrical Vase
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Babilonia Style Mayan Tripod Cylindrical Vase - PF.2312
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 600 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 7.25" (18.4cm) high x 8.375" (21.3cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Much of Mayan art was dedicated to the glorification of their great priests, to their gods and to their fabulous concept of time. In the artistic expression of the myriad aspects of this complex culture, the Mayan craftsmen excelled in the ability to fit design, form and function in such a way as to employ each component to its maximum while at the same time achieving an integrated aesthetic unity. This magnificent polychrome cylinder vase is an extraordinary example of this Mayan craftsmanship. Rendered in the mural manner, a linear style that befits the smooth vertical surface of the vase, the artist has divided the vase into three vertical registers. The banded top and bottom possibly exemplify the Mayan's cylindrical expertise, for sacred scenes are always accompanied by the writing of dates and constellations that mark the event. These calligraphic and linear bands form a natural frame for the powerful images depicted in the middle register. The priestly figures are performing some ancient mythical ritual with the aid of their assistants. Their spectacular adornments include magnificent hair dresses embellished with brilliant bird feathers, decorated clothing and, adding to this powerful visage, forceful serpent heads. What could be the meaning of this sacred ritual? If only the priests could reach across time and whisper their secrets. Alas, they cannot. But this extraordinary vase speaks, through the artistic hand of the ancient Mayan who captured forever his complex and evocative cultural heritage. - (PF.2312)


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