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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Terracotta Polychrome Tripod Bowl
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Terracotta Polychrome Tripod Bowl - PF.4074
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1350 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 5.5" (14.0cm) high x 16" (40.6cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Towards the end of Period VI a style of pottery developed known as Luna Polychrome with close affinities to objects made in southwestern Nicaragua. These particularly refined ceramics are characterized by a pearly cream slip and fine-line decoration. Often animal effigies are used on the legs, as in the case of this handsome bowl, where we see three very graphic stylized jaguar/ alligator heads. The curve of the neck of each head allows for the direct extension of the chin and the fully exposed sharp teeth. With the careful balancing of red and black slip on cream, especially around the eyes, the artist has given the faces a wide range of expression and dramatic effect. Their bulk is nicely contrasted to the slimness of the bowl, with its fascinating designs around the outside rim and covering the interior. What has been achieved here is a combination of strength and delicacy, stark realism and abstraction, in harmony with each other creating a perfectly formed and lovely work of art. - (PF.4074)


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