Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Masterpieces : Cypriot Vessel
Click to view original image.
Cypriot Vessel - LO.1231
Origin: Cyprus
Circa: 1500 BC to 900 BC
Dimensions: 16.65" (42.3cm) high x 6.2" (15.7cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Medium: Earthenware


Location: Great Britain
Purchase
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Description
Red polished ware vessel in anthropoid form with incised markings over whole; trio of lower bodies, linked in the horizontal plane, form the feet and base of the vessel, their necks rising through the legs and fuse to enter base of a fourth jug forming body, before giving way to neck and head; narrow spout protrudes from top of head; crude, rather “ape-like” features moulded in a grimace, flanked by large, drilled ears; arms protrude laterally forming handles. This piece marks a period spanning from the Late Bronze Age (1650-1050 BCE) to the early Iron Age (1050- ACE 350). Red polished ware formed a dominant ware of the Cypriot Bronze Age. The clay was covered with red slip, which was then burnished to produce a high polish. Today, this shiny polish has survived, creating glinting highlights. Many of the pottery vessels found in the ancient tombs of Cyprus are adorned with representations of humans, animals, plants or inanimate objects. In this instance the vessel itself is transformed into a human. This piece takes the Cypriot process of pluralization – started at the beginning of the Bronze Age – to a zenith of complexity. Multi-bodied vessels were not uncommon during this period, however rarely take an animate form and when they do there is a clear bias toward animal-shapes, rather than human shapes, making this an exceptionally rare item. A great deal more work would have been involved in its production; from the offset it was clearly intended for an exalted status amid the retinue of funerary objects. The standard of finish is exceptional. The contours of the body exaggerated in one direction or another and relief elements applied to the surface, in this case, the face. Incised decoration is commonly seen on the surface of Red Polished Ware and are usually, as in this case, abstract patterns cut into the clay at the point when it is ‘leather hard’, before firing. After the incisions have been made they have been rendered more conspicuous by the addition of a white in-filling, making them stand out against the dark, red background. Human figures in ancient Cypriot art are not realistic representations of the human form, rather highly stylized and display deliberate modification of the human shape. Has been looked down on critics and art historians. Today, however a very different view prevails and it is generally agreed that these artists were not attempting to reproduce realistic shapes but rather the exploitation of a natural shape for symbolic purposes, which they achieved via schematization, stylization, stereotyping and abstraction. The lack of similar vessels may be explained by the obstacle of how to present items as vessels rather than figurines. There is a small group of figures from the Middle Bronze Age that herald the new wave of human representations styles about to arrive in the Late Bronze Age. Long-eared figures. A tradition for vessel-shaped figures began in Early Bronze Age, where small human faces are placed as decorations on the rims, necks or handles of bowls. By a slight extension of this process, the vessel becomes a figure. This type of pottery is incredibly rare. Cf. The Art of Ancient Cyprus, Desmond Morris (Phaidon, Oxford, 1985) pp. 162-164. - (LO.1231)

 

Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2021 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved

contact-form@barakatgallery.com - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting