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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Terracotta Seated Male Figure
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Terracotta Seated Male Figure - PF.4016
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 300 BC to 500 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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One of the most amazing aspects of Costa Rican art is the realism that the artist tries to achieve. Rather than creating an ideal world, the artist creates what he sees as accurately and as beautifully as possible. This particular sculpture shows a man seated, afflicted with the disease Polio. This debilitating sickness is realistically portrayed by a serious deformity in the right arm. He also has a severe hump on his back. This in turn, tilts the head slightly, causing the person to lose the symmetry that we are so used to finding in works of art. The decoration on the person is very simple motifs on the shoulders. The hands and feet are also painted, as is the area around the mouth. The head is covered by a simple monochrome cap, which hides all visible traces of hair. Though the artist is not trying to evoke sympathy in the observer, we cannot help but be moved by the sympathetic realism that the artist has provided us with. - (PF.4016)


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