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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Chinesco Style : Chinesco Style (Type C) Nayarit Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Man
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Chinesco Style (Type C) Nayarit Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Man - PF.4540
Origin: Nayarit, Mexico
Circa: 300 BC to 300 AD
Dimensions: 7.25" (18.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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The ceramic objects of Western Mexico constitute some of the most original and endearing works of art found anywhere in the world. If art is a mirror of both artist and people for whom the art was made, then the ancient people of Nayarit possessed great charm, humor and compassion. These priceless qualities of human nature, when combined with artistic talent, can make an inanimate object come alive with character and a personality all its own. As if casually resting after a long walk, this very charming fellow immediately captivates our attention. But what is it that we find so entrancing about him? The striking broad slashes of black in a V-shape over his eyes seem in direct contrast to his calm exterior. The multiple lines in positive-negative arrangement on his cheeks, chin and other parts of his body represent either scarification or tattooing typical of such figures. What is rare, however, is the imprint of a hand over the man's left breast, just above his heart. There is something wonderfully powerful and poignant in this simple sign; recalling similar effects in cave paintings. Found in a tomb this vessel was probably made for a specific purpose, perhaps to hold potions of a Shaman. The figure appears to be in a trance and may well be a sorcerer on a vision quest. On a technical level, this vessel is typically Nayarit, with its abstract quality, long ropes for arms and triangular head of the Chinesco Type D. But, it is much more than that. In this male figure we see a human being of delicate sensibilities and dignity, possessed of a deeper mystery, which reflects the loveliest qualities in ourselves, and of the human race. - (PF.4540)


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