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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Veracruz Art : Remojadas Sculptural Fragment of a Smiling Head
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Remojadas Sculptural Fragment of a Smiling Head - PF.4703
Origin: Mexico
Circa: 500 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 6" (15.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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There is mystery surrounding the people who inhabited the Veracruz region during this period. Neither their ethnic identity nor their language is known. This lack of knowledge may frustrate the historian, but it is not an impediment to the art lover. Though the people and circumstances that inspired the art are an enigma, the 'laughing faces' of Veracruz are world famous. What pure joy it is to see this smiling face. He simply radiates enjoyment, pleasure and well-being. From an aesthetic point of view, the head is beautifully symmetrical. It is essentially a triangle that includes the distinctive headdress. This is ornamented with two designs on both sides in a criss-cross pattern, separated by a thick line forming a sort of 'doorway' in the center and filled with broad vertical bands. The face itself is masterfully modeled; the narrow almond eyes and gorgeous smile exposing two prominent teeth create the focal point of laughter. Two large earspools are signs of wealth and indicate this figure is someone of importance. It is possible he is a priest or initiate involved in a ritual ceremony, enjoying a moment of religious ecstasy; perhaps aided by a hallucinogenic drug! Whatever his source of delight, the joy he gives us is beyond description. - (PF.4703)


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