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Mask representing a human face - Maya
Mask representing a human face - Maya - Ancient Art Style Mask representing a human face - Maya -
Ref : 86422
250 000 €
Period :
BC to 10th century
Provenance :
MAYA - Mexico, 100 - 450 A.D.
Medium :
Green speckled omphacite jadeite
Dimensions :
l. 7.01 inch X H. 8.7 inch X P. 3.46 inch
Ancient Art  - Mask representing a human face - Maya
Galerie Mermoz

Precolumbian art

+33 (0)1 42 25 84 80
Mask representing a human face - Maya

Condition: Intact
Object sold with a certificate of authenticity.

This remarkable mask bears witness to the artistic and technical heights reached by Mayan artists, particularly in the work of jade, an extremely hard sacred stone dedicated to ritual offerings and prestigious objects, the prerogative of kings and lords. It deserves special attention for the beauty of its stone, its large size and the refinement of its naturalistic physiognomy, brilliantly restored, a perfect expression of the values of this great civilization.

The harmonious head is perfectly oval. The high and receding forehead is the consequence of a ritual deformation, a widespread practice among the dominant social classes for whom it probably represented a sign of nobility, an ideal of beauty and an ode to fertility due to the oblong shape of the skull reminiscent of that of an ear of corn, a vital and sacred plant. The convexity of the face resulting from this tabular modification is clearly visible in the bas-reliefs where the dignitaries are usually sculpted sideways, with sumptuous, very high headdresses that prolong and accentuate the arch of the profile.

The eyebrow arches in slight relief are barely arched, they encircle the forehead and fall gently down to the temples. The artist has carefully carved the frontal bone and the glabella (space between the eyebrows). Rendered in a masterful way, the aquiline nose asserts itself with force. Its scrupulously drawn wings are inflated and its nostrils perforated, a way for pre-Columbian artists to express the breath and life that the masks, considered to be animated beings, were endowed with. The rectangular ears are schematic and their pierced lobe was supposed to hold valuable earrings or pendants.

The elliptical eyelids and eyes are domed and the outline of the latter is delicately engraved.
The graceful cheeks have beautifully protruding cheekbones. The open, oval mouth is hollowed out. The inner surface is polished as is the very fine outline.

Two communicating holes have been made on the sides at the top of the temples.

Galerie Mermoz


Ancient Art