Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Head Vessel, 8th–12th century
    Ecuador; Manteño
    Ceramic; H. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
    Purchase, The Nelson C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Gift of Nathan Cummings, by exchange, 1981 (1981.158)

    Shaped like a human head, this small vessel is open at the top, the neck forming the base of the container. The face is modeled naturalistically, with soft cheekbones, heavy-lidded eyes defined by incised lines, and a prominent nose wearing a thick nose ring. Additional facial ornaments on the nostrils are formed by small clay pellets, and five holes along the edge of each ear once held ornaments, possibly of gold. Two pairs of deeply incised lines curve from the nostrils to the chin. The face is framed by what may be closely cropped hair or a close-fitting cap decorated with a banded design and five appliquéd pellets on the front. The contrast between the burnished and dull surfaces, and angular, deeply incised, soft curving lines lends the vessel considerable personality.

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    On view: Gallery 357
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  • Head Vessel, 8th–12th century
    Ecuador; Manteño
    Ceramic; H. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
    Purchase, The Nelson C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Gift of Nathan Cummings, by exchange, 1981 (1981.158)

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