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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Moche Portrait Head Vessels : Moche Blackware Portrait Head Vessel with Legs
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Moche Blackware Portrait Head Vessel with Legs - PF.1878
Origin: Peru
Circa: 200 AD to 600 AD
Dimensions: 10" (25.4cm) high
Catalogue: V5
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Moche portrait vessels most likely depict actual individuals, the kings, priests, warriors who governed Ancient Peru. This particular fellow radiates a stern, aristricratic dignity, though the artist has added a small pair of legs that jut from below his chin without being attached to a torso. These legs, bent at the knee as if seated, perhaps are a clue to the high rank of the subject. In Moche art, persons of importance are often shown seated on a dais or throne, receiving homage. These serrealistic limbs may be a shorthand expression of power, an indication that the sitter holds high office and would be shown seated if this were more than a facial rendering. Even though the initial effect to modern eyes is comic, there is no denying the majestic aura of authority this individual radiates. - (PF.1878)


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