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Baby face - Olmec
Baby face - Olmec - Ancient Art Style Baby face - Olmec - Baby face - Olmec -
Ref : 84179
30 000 €
Period :
BC to 10th century
Provenance :
OLMEC - Mexico, 900 - 400 B.C.
Medium :
Covered beige hollow terracotta with a thin layer of kaolin with remnants of red paint
Dimensions :
l. 7.01 inch X H. 9.17 inch X P. 3.66 inch
Ancient Art  - Baby face - Olmec BC to 10th century - Baby face - Olmec
Galerie Mermoz

Precolumbian art

+33 (0)1 42 25 84 80
Baby face - Olmec

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

The character above belongs more specifically to the corpus of Baby Faces, representing naked, asexual and plump babies, most often seated, whose chubby face however displays adult features and a pouting expression, and very often singular characteristics evoking the jaguar.

With great vitality, this baby rests on his buttocks. His legs are wide open and his arms, longer than the latter moreover, are stretched horizontally, with the hands raised, a singular posture giving the feeling that he is seeking his balance or that he is trying to fly away. He wears a protective helmet on his head, embellished with traces of red paint, matched with a point on the front and topped by a ridged cap.

This cap conceals a deformity that flattens the forehead and lengthens the cranium.

Carefully modeled, the face with beautiful full cheeks is animated by two slit and arched eyes, engraved with great precision, giving this child a vaguely Asian air. Flanked by long protruding ears with pierced lobes, it features a strong, upturned nose overlooking a wide open mouth, whose sharply raised upper lip and bulging lower lip irresistibly evoke the beak of a baby bird seeking to make a sound.

The shape of the mouth and eyes is also a reference to the jaguar, a privileged theme of Olmec religious iconography.

Beyond the face, which focuses attention, the body is compact and collected, with that monumentality, including the scale of small figures, which characterizes many Olmec sculptures. We generally find the chubby shapes specific to newborns.

The bulbous arms echo the legs, which are also short, thick and tapered. The hands and feet are not clearly shown. The waist, very high, is narrow. The juvenile belly has a vent hole in place of the navel, allowing water vapor to escape during cooking and preventing the clay from bursting under pressure.

Galerie Mermoz


Ancient Art