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Creator Nationality: Central Mexico? (Las Bocas, Puebla?), Olmec, Early Formative Period, 1200-900 BC
Creator Name-CRT: Central Mexico? (Las Bocas, Puebla?), Olmec, Early Formative Period, 1200-900 BC
Title: Vessel with Deity Mask
Title Type: Primary
Creation Start Date: -120
Creation End Date: -90
Creation Date: 1200-900 BC
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramic
Materials and Techniques: ceramic and traces of pigment
Dimensions: Overall: 17.9cm x 16.5cm x 15.3cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 2002.67
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Style or Period: Central Mexico? (Las Bocas, Puebla?), Olmec, Early Formative Period, 1200-900 BC
Context: Though it appears more mask than vessel, the top and sides of this ceramic are formed by an inverted, U-shaped container once filled through an oval opening above the brow. Attached to this unusual shape is a sheet of clay modeled as a deity mask, startling in its raw power: pierced eyes glare out from within the shadow of a furrowed, muscular brow; the chin juts aggressively; and the mouth opens in a shriek, part-bird and part-jaguar. This may be the face of the Olmec god of rain, the inspiration for much Olmec ritual and many astonishingly inventive and accomplished works of art. The vessel may come from a grave or a buried offering.
AMICA ID: CMA_.2002.67
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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