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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Costa Rica : Papagayo Vessel With Serpent Motif
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Papagayo Vessel With Serpent Motif - PF.3723
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 AD to 1500 AD
Dimensions: 10.5" (26.7cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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With colors as brilliant as the ones on this vessel, we react to its outstanding beauty and recall the past as it may have been at the point that this vessel was made. This red clay is richly painted in a white slip and then decorated in burnished red, orange and black. The main part of the vessel is a stylized gourd shape while standing on a simply decorated foot, so as not to distract from the body of the work. Both the foot and the rim are decorated in painted geometric forms, while the centerpiece displays a magnificent stylized serpent with large, expectant eyes and a fierce, sharp mouth with a protruding tongue. The sleek body of the serpent is smooth to the touch yet the artist shows the scales with geometric patterning on either side of the body. Such skill and precision from the artist allows us to visualize not only what the artist felt, but also what he was trying to relate with his creation, perhaps not knowing that people would still be able to enjoy his work so many years into the future. - (PF.3723)


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