Olmec Terracotta Sculpture of a Seated Baby - PF.3283, Origin: Mexico, Circa: 1000 BC to 500 BC, Dimensions: 11.625" (29.5cm) high, Catalogue: V20, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Style: Olmec, Medium: Terracotta. As is typical of this type of figure, the legs are spread wide apart with the hands placed firmly on the knees. The chest reveals subtle breasts, the torso is slim and shoulders broad. In keeping with the overall fine harmony of form, the head is beautifully modelled with a high forehead, long ears, eyes slanting slightly downwards, and a fairly large nose to balance the full lips. Though referred to as 'baby' figures because of the pose, this particular sculpture reveals a maturity in the expression, with eyes staring boldly at us touched by a hint of humor continued in the gentle curve of the mouth. And though the body reveals aspects of 'voluptuous' baby fat, there is nonetheless a masculine power in the limbs. This duality is characteristic of Olmec art, where much is expressed in basically simple forms, signifying depth of thought and considerable artistic skill.
Ancient Central America & Mexico