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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Animal Sculptures : Sculpture of a Jaguar with a Bowl on its Back
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Sculpture of a Jaguar with a Bowl on its Back - PF.4630b
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 300 BC to 500 AD
Dimensions: 12.75" (32.4cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta


Location: United States
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Description
The Costa Rica artists loved to incorporate different animals in their ceramic works. In some cases a vessel may be a realistic representation of a bird or alligator. Or it may be highly zoomorphic with ritualistic connotations. This very appealing vessel is truly a sculpture. The jaguar is beautifully made, perfectly balanced and finely painted. Though the artist has added details such as semi- realistic markings, he has also given the overall object a profound sense of individuality. This gorgeous animal is seen in its full magnificence, striding forward with pride and fearless courage. The Costa Ricans greatly admired the jaguar as lord of the rain forest and as an important deity in the other world. Artists often depicted them in their work, partly due to the fact they were in demand by wealthy customers. These elite and noble individuals who formed exclusive groups in various regions of Costa Rica enjoyed beautiful works of art, which graced their homes and were also used as funerary objects. Whether this lovely jaguar carried fruits and vegetables in this world, or held them in store for the next, it must always have done so with dignity, style and gracious elegance. - (PF.4630b)

 

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