Cylinder Tripod Vessel with Incised and Painted Imagery
Unknown Lenca artist, Western Honduras. Cylinder Tripod Vessel with Incised and Painted Imagery, 600–1000 CE. Slip-painted ceramic with incised and carved detail, 9 ⅛ x 9 inches. Denver Art Museum Collection: Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1991.57.
About A.D. 600–1000
Earthenware with colored slips
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1991.57
The decoration on this exceptionally ornate vessel features painted panels framed by carved surfaces. In the painted panels are Maya figures, identifiable by their distinctive facial profiles as well as their headgear and costuming. Carved through the slipped surface into the vessel’s clay body are elaborate bird head profiles, and a stepped meander pattern. Additional bird head motifs are painted around the rim. Northwestern Honduras was located on an important trade corridor that connected central Mexico and the Maya region with Central America and northern South America. The region’s ceramics display stylistic influence from the Maya, but retain a distinctive local character.