Price on request.
TITLE: Female figurine
CULTURE: Olmec (probably from Las Bocas), Preclassic Period, Mexico.
PERIOD: 1200 – 900 B.C.
MATERIAL: Terracotta with traces of bright red cinnabar pigment.
SIZE: Height 17 cm, width 8 cm.
PRICE: Available on consultation.
PROVENANCE: From a private Spanish collection, formed in the decade of the 70s
PUBLICATIONS: Catalogue of the exhibition of the Fundació Caixa Girona, “Ceràmiques dels déus”, pag 41, piece no. 3.
EXHIBITIONS: Exhibition at the Fundació Caixa Girona, “Ceràmiques dels déus”, 23 November 2006 to 14 January 2007.
STATE OF CONSERVATION: Various cracks are present and a part of the right arm is missing. Traces of red cinnabar pigment are present between the fingers and toes, and the piece conserves its original lustre.
This is a female figurine made from grey-brown terracotta. The woman is holding her left breast with her left hand while her right hand is resting on her bulging belly.
This figurine can be related to those of the type commonly called “baby-face” figurines. These are usually in a sitting position, unlike the piece being described here. They share features like marked cranial deformation, shaven heads and marked enigmatic expressions, following sacred and aesthetic motifs belonging not only to the Olmec territory, but also followed in other Mesoamerican regions where the presence of this culture had great influence.
The Olmec was the first great Mesoamerican civilization. Early Olmec art flourished between 1200 and 900 B.C. and is characterized by the simple design of its energetic forms.
The finest terracotta figurines and pottery are from the area of Las Bocas in the Puebla region. These follow the stylistic patterns of Olmec art and are extremely well made. In many cases they had been covered with burnished white engobe, a material similar to a slip, or a cinnabar red pigment, as in the case of the figurine under discussion.
-DE LA FUENTE, B., “El arte olmeca”, Arqueología mexicana, vol.2, nº12, Marzo-Abril 1995. México: Raíces.[18-25].
-DIEHL, R. “The Olmecs: America’s first civilization”. London: Thames & Hudson, 2004.
-JORALEMON, P.D., “In search of the Olmec cosmos: reconstructing the World view of Mexico’s first civilization”, Olmec art of Ancient Mexico. Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1996. [51-59].
- AA.VV, Trésors de la céramique précolombienne dans les collections Barbier-Mueller, 2003.