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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Panama : Cocle Terracotta Polychrome Pedestaled Bowl
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Cocle Terracotta Polychrome Pedestaled Bowl - PF.4030
Origin: Panama (Cocle)
Circa: 500 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 11.5" (29.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The concept of design typified by Panamanian ceramics is based on a basic idea- that all things contain within themselves both male and female principles. This fundamentally simple formula has vast ramifications in understanding our universe and in appreciating the intricate patterns on Cocle art. The artist's of Panama understood that the physical and non-physical world is not static, it is constantly in motion, revolving around the dual elements of masculine and feminine, light and dark, passive and active; in constant interaction, pulling and drawing apart, giving and receiving energy in order to achieve perfect balance. This sense of harmony is what the artist sought to accomplish, and in a vessel such as this superb bowl we see how successful he was. The design of a mythic creature embodies the entire surface of the inner portion. The circular eyes are the focal point, with the serpentine body swirling in every direction, beautifully controlled, twisting and intersecting over every inch with color and contrast. The creature fits so perfectly within the given space, it seems to expand beyond its own boundaries; swelling and expanding like a constellation of stars, both confined and infinite at once. We see in this mythic beast an abstract representation of a perfect universe- vibrating with life and energy, emitting sheer power through its intricate pattern, revolving and circulating endlessly, radiating its unique light and beauty through the ages. - (PF.4030)


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