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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Nazca Art : Nazca Bowl with Four Trophy Heads
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Nazca Bowl with Four Trophy Heads - PF.0422
Origin: Peru
Circa: 500 AD to 700 AD
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) wide
Catalogue: V2
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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It has been said of Nasca art that; "the coloring of Nasca ware and the sensitivity it displays in the harmony of ornamentation and form are unmatched at any period, anywhere in the world." (Ferdinand Anton, "The Art of Ancient Peru"). An example of this can be seen is this very charming vessel, which was probably made as a funerary gift. The sides of the bowl are decorated with four trophy heads, the severed prize of the gods collected from sacrificial deities. The blood that ran from the heads of decapitated victims was believed to nourish the earth, providing for a bountiful harvest. Although this subject matter is rather gruesome to our tastes, here, the heads are depicted with whimsical delight. They smile, perhaps aware that their sacrifice will honor the gods of the earth. Although created over a thousand years ago, the bold lines and vibrant hues of Nasca art makes this work appear as if it could be contemporary. One could imagine Picasso instead having painted such designs. - (PF.0422)


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