Zoomorphic Effigy Vessel

SKU PF.3604

1000 AD to 1450 AD


5.25″ (13.3cm) high




Costa Rica

Gallery Location



This effigy vessel has certain characteristics that resemble a jaguar, and animal this culture highly respected. The artist has depicted the animal with careful attention to detail. This animal's pose is very human-like, as the front paws support the head and resembles human arms. Emanating from this work of art is a strong emotional relationship between orange, black, and cream colors. The jaguar lived among the Costa Rican people and although they worshipped it, they were also tremendously fearful of its possible actions. The artist shows these juxtaposed feelings with the open mouth; revealing both the sharp teeth. This animal could hurt us by looking with a jovial grin embedded on the jaguar's face. This vessel is decorated in an energetic, geometric style with order and logic to the patterns. The overlapping of angular lines makes this vessel look like an exquisitely woven basket. As we focus on the art of ancient times, we marvel at our ability to understand these cultures through their art. This piece is a breathtaking example of how one artist has preserved the sentiments of the time through the colors, line, and strength of the forms.

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