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Currently shown

Standing Female Figure

Location

MEXICO, MIDDLE LERMA RIVER BASIN

Era

Late Preclassic period (400 B.C.E.-200 C.E.)

Culture

Chupícuaro

Title

Standing Female Figure

Date

400-100 B.C.E.

Materials

Earthenware, slip, painted decoration

Dimensions

24.3 x 12 x 5.2 cm

Credits

Gift of Gerald Benjamin, inv. 2007.348

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

This statuette was shown in the exhibition Man-eaters and Pretty Ladies, presented at the Museum in 1971, which brought together, among others, works belonging to its major donors of pre-Columbian art in recent years. Although there is little awareness of Chupícuaro culture amongst the general public, this type of figure has become an epitome of pre-Columbian art, with one example serving as the emblem of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris, and another selling for a record-breaking price for a pre-Columbian artwork in 2013. Just like the work here, those two figures entered the art market through the Montreal collector Guy Joussemet. Far less common than the solid little figurines, they are decorated with patterns on the parts of the body – head, torso and hips – that in Mesoamerican belief harboured animistic powers.

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