TITLE: Huaco portrait
CULTURE: Moche, Peru
PERIOD: 500 - 800 AD
DIMENSIONS: Height 24 cm
PRICE: 2,800 €
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Paris. Acquired in 1980.
CONDITION: In a good state of conservation.
DESCRIPCIÓN: A pottery stirrup-spout huaco painted in orange and cream tones. The body of the vessel is in the form of a frontal portrait of an anthropomorphic figure. His features clearly indicate the typical morphological characteristics of the Moche people and generally of all the Andean zone of America. The figure has oval eyes, a straight nose and prominent, clearly marked closed lips. In this case we can observe the remains of what seems to be decoration of the face in a darker tone. The figure is wearing a headdress in the form of a bird.
The best-known cultural legacy of the Moche people is their ceramic work which generally was to form part of offerings to the deceased. Men, divinities, animals, plants and complex scenes were represented by artists in the form of sculptural images of vessels decorated with brushwork.
Generally speaking, the work is of two colors (red on yellowish cream) although these colors have a wide range of tones, with a tendency to become darker towards the end of the development of the Moche culture.
Most of the Moche ceramic is in the form of the huaco, a closed vessel with a globe-shaped or sculptural body, a flat base, a tubular spout in the form of a stirrup. These have been one of the fundamental ways we have been able to learn about the characteristics of this pre-Hispanic culture, about its society, the natural environment in which it developed and the different periods of its cultural evolution.