Seated Figure

Seated Figure

1000-500 B.C.
Culture
Olmec
Locale
Zumpango del Rio Guerrero
Country
Mexico
figure
Ceramic with slip and pigments
Funds From Various Donors
1975.50

Unknown Olmec artist (Zumpango del Río, Guerrero, Mexico), Seated Baby Figure, 1000–500 BCE. Slip-painted ceramic, 14 x 12 ½ x 9 ¼ in. Funds from various donors, 1975.50

Dimensions
height: 14 in, 35.5600 cm; width: 12.5 in, 31.7500 cm; depth: 9.25 in, 23.4950 cm
Department
Mayer Center, Art of the Ancient Americas
Collection
Art of the Ancient Americas

Seated Figure
Olmec
About 1000–500 B.C.
Mexico, Guerrero, Zumpango del Rio
Earthenware with slip and pigments
Funds from various donors, 1975.50

The Olmec created Mesoamerica’s first civilization. Their sites are concentrated in the warm, humid Gulf Coast region of Mexico, although Olmec architecture, sculpture, and cave paintings are also found in central Mexico. Portable Olmec style objects have been discovered as far south as Costa Rica. The Olmec were masterful sculptors, carving massive stone monuments such as ruler portrait heads and thrones (also known as altars). They also created smaller scale works in jade and ceramic. This earthenware figure is easily recognized as Olmec by the elongated head, slanted eyes, and downturned lips. The body is sexless, with smooth, rounded limbs and small hands and feet. The pose is elegantly casual, with a slightly cocked head and asymmetrical arm and leg positions.

Exhibition History
  • “The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership” — Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ, 12/16/1995 - 02/25/1996
  • The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 04/14/1996 – 06/09/1996