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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Pre-Columbian Masterpieces : Human Head Effigy Vessel
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Human Head Effigy Vessel - PF.4115
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 AD to 1350 AD
Dimensions: 17.5" (44.5cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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An exact representation of an individual depended upon the circumstances in which it was created, and especially for whom it was made. An artist commissioned by a patron would have attempted to portray the subject with accuracy. However, more generic features would have been used in depicting ancestors, spirits or divinities. The expressive face of this woman seems to suggest it was modeled from life. Distinctive features such as earrings and designs on the face, representing ritual scarification or tattooing, give it a personal touch. The pupils of her eyes, formed by an inscribed circle, look in different directions. She stares straight ahead with a slightly quizzical expression, adding to her charms. Whether she was a flesh and blood woman or a divinity, her personality will win over everyone. - (PF.4115)


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