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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Polychrome Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Polychrome Cylindrical Vessel - PF.3631
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 6 th Century AD to 9 th Century AD
Dimensions: 5.25" (13.3cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The Maya in their great temple cities reached the summit of 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 refined their skills to represent the human forms, deities, and other symbolic art works. Used in various rituals and ceremonies, their art embodied rich symbolism, laden with complex meanings that largely remain esoteric. A fine example of Mayan vessel, this polychrome vessel depicts two priests or noblemen seated facing columns of hieroglyphs. To indicate their status and perhaps ranks, both figures wear elaborately decorated headdresses, wrist cuffs, and earspools. Their expressive hand gestures suggest communication, most likely a spiritual communication the divine beings of Mayan religion. Such hand movements and physicality are realistically portrayed with fluid gestured lines, successfully expressing a sense of motion and feelings. Moreover, the top and the bottom of the vessel are enhanced with bands of geometric patterns that further accentuate the beauty of the ancient vessel. Most likely created for the use in rituals and ceremonies, the scenes depicted on the vessel gives us a glimpse of the enchanting sight of the ancient rituals. Although we may not know the spiritual message the priests are bestowing, the power of such rituals are clear to even the modern viewers. - (PF.3631)


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