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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Ceramic Bowl with Anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic Legs
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Ceramic Bowl with Anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic Legs - PF.3211
Origin: Costa Rica (Guanacaste)
Circa: 1200 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 5.75" (14.6cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This bowl is a masterpiece of composition seen through the patterns of shapes and colors. The aesthetics, rhythm, harmony, handling of shapes and volume are sensorial instruments this artist has used to connect to the mind and soul of the viewer. The artistic beauty does not merely reflect the visual world; its strength and rhythm reside in the ideological content of the message conveyed by the faces on the sides of the bowl. These faces have anthropomorphic expressions, with zoomorphic facial features. The bright burnished surface is technically unsurpassed by any Pre-Columbian pottery. The angular, geometric patterns in red, orange, black, and creme are impressively vivid. Among the symbols on this work of art, there seems to be a crocodile's head. This animal was worshipped by the Costa Ricans for its beauty and power. Through the patterns and colors, we predict that this brightly decorated bowl was most probably place among other sacred items on an altar during rituals. We can assume this vessel was essentially a symbolic language, full of visual signs and codes that carried the forces of the universe during ceremonies. - (PF.3211)


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