Mayan Bowl With Painted Monkeys

SKU PF.5643
Circa

300 AD to 900 AD

Dimensions

3″ (7.6cm) high x 5.75″ (14.6cm) wide

Medium

Terracotta

Origin

El Salvador

Gallery Location

USA


 

The exterior of this vessel is divided into two bands. The upper band is a series of glyphs repeated four times. This glyph takes the form of a head with a long extended snout that leads to a hooked appendage. The glyphs are interspersed with a series or black dots and red rectangles. The lower band depicts three monkeys crawling across the bottom. There stomachs take the form of two black concentric rings from which there swirling tails and undulating limbs extend. The monkeys seem to playfully chase each other. There is a swiftness in their form duplicated in the loosely applied paint. What is the relationship between the text and the paintings? Altogether, the decoration of this vessel is a very precise and significant symbolic language. Unfortunately, the vocabulary has been lost to us. However, the beauty of this pictorial statement can still be easily appreciated. – (PF.5643)

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