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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Polychrome Vessel
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Mayan Polychrome Vessel - PF.3477
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 500 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 7.25" (18.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Mayan
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
The Maya in their great temple cities reached the summit of the classical age in Ancient Meso- America. In those temple cities, great artistic expressions such as murals and sculptures flourished. It is during this classical period in which artists created magnificent polychrome vessels, which depict various Mayan figures and hieroglyphs. This cylindrical vessel is a fine example of such creations. Decorated with warm orange color and intricately painted figures and glyphs, the vessel radiates with its subtle and yet poignant beauty. It shows two Mayan dignitaries seated in throne-like seats, facing each other, their hand gestures indicate that they are communicating, and the column of hieroglyphs between their hands seem to show the content of their discussion. The high status of the dignitaries are suggested by their elaborate headdresses, large earspools, and the fancy costumes. Moreover, the fluid, gesture lines which define the figures and the hieroglyphs successfully show the distinct Mayan physical characteristics such as the heavy-lidded eyes, hooked nose, and fleshy lips. As we look into this vessel, we feel as if we are standing in a Mayan village, watching two honorable dignitaries. Hundreds of years after the vessel's creation, we still appreciate its beauty that is sure to last for ages to come. - (PF.3477)

 

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