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Sitting Thinker - Chinesco
Sitting Thinker - Chinesco - Ancient Art Style Sitting Thinker - Chinesco -
Ref : 84148
20 000 €
Period :
BC to 10th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Brown hollow terracotta with a brick-red slip and polychrome decorations
Dimensions :
l. 5.67 inch X H. 7.56 inch X P. 4.13 inch
Ancient Art  - Sitting Thinker - Chinesco BC to 10th century - Sitting Thinker - Chinesco
Galerie Mermoz

Precolumbian art

+33 (0)1 42 25 84 80
Sitting Thinker - Chinesco

Condition : Intact
Object sold with a certificate of authenticity and a thermoluminescence test.

Sitting on the floor, one leg extended and the other folded, our character crosses his arms, leaning on his right knee. His tattoos and jewelry - on his neck and arms - indicate that he is an important member of the community, a leader or a shaman.

He is completely covered in brick red paint, except for the dark brown skull, possibly matched with a beanie, unless it is just the depiction of the hair. The head adopts the typical shape of Chinesco figures, recognizable by their rounded skull, broad in front, narrow in profile and flat on the reverse, undoubtedly the result of a ritual deformation, which had been practiced among the elites, for ages, everywhere in Mesoamerica.

Starting at the temples, the face becomes triangular with thin cheeks descending to a small, inconspicuous chin that sinks into the neck. The eyes are two small slits which give a rather Asian air to this character, at the origin of the name Chinesco, meaning Chinese in Spanish, although there is no proven link between the art of Nayarit and Asia.

The mouth is no more obvious than the eyes, it is hidden under the nose, strong and rounded, the nostrils of which have been perforated, no doubt to hang a beautiful nariguera. The small round ears are tall and protruding and their lobes are pierced. The delicate cheeks are decorated at the level of the cheekbones with a beige conical pattern, pointing towards the nose, whose rim and interior are highlighted with black lines.

Using the same chromatic range, the artist has featured a necklace, circular bracelets around the biceps, as well as a squared cover-up covering the crotch and held at the waist by a thin belt. All of this confirms that this character belongs to the elite.

The exaggeratedly long, even elastic, arms are nicely curled in front of the torso. The right arm forms a nice, wide curl and goes up to the left shoulder where we guess it is resting his hand, not shown. The left arm is partly hidden and comes to put his hand on the right knee.

The conical legs, very wide at the top then tapering to a point, and without apparent feet, give a certain voluptuousness to the Chinesco figurines, which are said to represent Venus, a sort of feminine ideal, used during agrarian rites for to provide wealth and abundance to the community, before being buried as funeral offerings to dignitaries, in deep well tombs typical of northwestern Mexico.

Galerie Mermoz


Ancient Art