Vessel with Human Figures

Vessel with Human Figures

100–700 CE
Peru, northern highlands
Ceramic with colored slips and resist decoration
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of Rose Kushei

Unknown Recuay artist, Santa Valley, north coast, Peru. Vessel with Human Figures, 100–700 CE. Ceramic with colored slips and resist decoration, 8 ¼ x 7 inches. Gift of Rose Kushei, 1961.87.

height: 8.25 in, 20.9550 cm; width: 7 in, 17.7800 cm
Mayer Center, Arts of the Ancient Americas
Arts of the Ancient Americas
This object is currently on view

Vessel with Human Figures
About A.D. 100–700
Peru, northern highlands
Earthenware with colored slips
Gift of Rose Kushei, 1961.87

Recuay culture arose in the upper reaches of Peru’s north coast river valleys and the adjacent highlands. Usually manufactured with fine white clay, Recuay vessels were painted with red, orange and black slip. Additional patterns were created after firing by painting with a resist material, then smoking over a fire. Fancy Recuay vessels were often modeled in the form of animals or people, or as multifigural scenes. This bottle depicts an event centered on a male figure whose importance is signaled by his frontal pose, scepter, patterned tunic, elaborate headgear, and jewelry. He is flanked on either side by cup-bearing female attendants. Another male figure serves as the vessel’s spout. The geometric painted patterns below the figures probably represent the decorated walls of the structure in which the scene occurs.

Known Provenance
(May-D&F), Denver, CO (part of May Department Stores Company, St. Louis, MO.), by 1967; by exchange, Denver Art Museum, 1967.

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