Mayan Carved Cylinder Vessel - PF.2647, Origin: Guatemala, Circa: 550 AD to 950 AD, Dimensions: 5.75" (14.6cm) high, Catalogue: V13, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Mayan, Medium: Terracotta. Conveyers of cultural information as well as beautiful objects in their own right, Mayan artworks such as this extraordinary carved ceramic vessel are imbued with a power and spirit that is truly monumental. Although the glyphic language of Mayan art is relatively foreign to us, it nevertheless conveys not only the visual beauty of the individual Mayan glyphs that surround the outer surface of the vessel, but also the tactile sensations of the glyphs’ raised relief. A further addition to the beauty of the vessel can be seen in the dramatic display of light and shadow that results from these raised images. As our mind’s eye contemplates the wonder and meaning of glyphs on the vessel we are also drawn to the striking pair of masked figures who sit cross-legged, opposite each other on the vase. With a vulture’s eye they stare at us, privy to secrets of their culture that we will never know. The flat, smooth surfaces that separate these masked figures give a subtle sense of balance and proportion to the vessel, a feature that is characteristic of Mayan art. It is evident from this striking vessel that Mayan art communicates powerfully with the modern world, while at the same time transmitting in eloquent detail the life of the Ancient Maya in all its fascinating detail.
Ancient Central America & Mexico