World Ceramics: Key Ideas

Pacific Coast region (Mexico),
Standing Figure
200 B.C.-A.D. 300
Ceramic and pigment
28 inches high, 5-1/2 inches wide
The John R. Van Derlip Fund

  • This sculpture of a standing figure comes from a shaft-chamber tomb in what is now the modern state of Nayarit [N(eye)-a-REET], on the west coast of Mexico.
  • The artist formed the torso by hand from a large slab of clay and then modeled and added arms, legs, clothing and ORNAMENTATION.
  • This figure of a woman was probably part of a male and female pair. She is a human CARICATURE, with enormous and EXAGGERATED facial and body features.
  • Such CERAMIC figures may have been placed in tombs to honor or protect the dead or to serve as reminders of the deceased's family members in the passage from this world to the next.
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Key ideas.
Where does it come from?
What does it look like?
How was it used?
How was it made?
How big is it?
Who Knows?
Additional resources.