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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chupicuaro Art : Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Standing Woman
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Chupicuaro Sculpture of a Standing Woman - PF.1973
Origin: Chupicuaro, Mexico
Circa: 500 BC to 200 BC
Dimensions: 4.5" (11.4cm) high x 2.25" (5.7cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The remains of a once vibrant culture are now submerged under a lake. Fortunately, excavations in the 1940's on the site were able to uncover sufficient artifacts to give us an intriguing picture of people who lived there centuries ago. Chupicuaro was the elaborate burial ground of a village above the Lerma River in the state of Guanajuato, eighty miles northwest of the Valley of Mexico. The abundant offerings of pottery, jade, and figurines discovered there attest to a flourishing artistic culture. One of the most endearing types of the clay objects is the small female figures, or 'pretty ladies'. They typically show a naked female with short arms, extended stomach and a fancy coiffure or headdress.

At any time throughout history, at any place in the world, the fundamental appeal of this delighful nude would be understood. She makes us realize that the essentials of life have changed little, no matter what other progress has been achieved. With her hairstyle and jewelry, she evokes a woman of Ancient Mexico, but she could as easily be from Egypt, China, or Babylon. Placed in a tomb, she offered the promise of renewal, rebirth, continuity. Her magic is as timeless as woman herself. - (PF.1973)


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