Manteno Ceramic Standing Male Figure - PF.2434, Origin: Ecuador (Manabi), Circa: 850 AD to 1500 AD, Dimensions: 19.25" (48.9cm) high, Collection: Pre-Columbian, Medium: Terracotta. Compelling in appearance, this standing male figure is a stunning example of Ancient Ecuadorian ceramic art, a masterpiece whose artistic tradition dates back to some of the earliest in the New World. Created by the Manteno culture of Ecuador, this male figure demonstrates the Ecuadorian craftsman's refined skill at manipulating the medium and his creative ability to express potent power and energy. Standing boldly with hands held at his thighs, the figure commands our immediate attention with the dramatic incised geometric designs that cover the surface of his body. These dynamic patterns are divided by a vertical line placed in the center of he figure's body that directs our attention downward toward his manhood and upward to his extraordinary face. Here we see a striking head adorned with a large headdress and pierced ear ornaments. His large nose is perforated through the nostrils, evidencing the addition of a metal nose ornament, now lost through the ravages of time. While the figure's almond-shaped eyes stare out at the world, his mouth forms an archaic smile, echoing the expression of early Greek statues. In fact, his rigid symmetrical stance with arms held stiffly at his side also reminds us of early sculptures, specifically the Greek male Kouros. How fascinating and intriguing that this extraordinary work of Pre-Columbian art not only stands as a distinguished testament to Ecuadorian artistic talents but also hearkens us back in time to the sculptural traditions of the old world. Without a doubt this captivating male figure has magical powers for he inextricably connects us one and all to the age-old family of man.
Ancient South America