Nasca Double Spout and Bridge Vessel with Birds and Anthropomorphic figure
This Nasca vessel has a sleek and economical form: the ceramic itself is not sculptural and emphasizes the use of 2-dimensional design in its style. A double spout and bridge that adorns the top of the vessel is the only part that is protruding from the piece. Polychromatic slips are used in the crafting process. Hues of yellow, red, blue, brown, creamy white, and black are present with varying levels of saturation. The reddish browns and the black hues are most vivid in the piece. The black slips are shown in heavy linework surrounding the images of the anthropomorphic figure and the birds on either side of the face, effectively creating contours that contribute to stylistic shading.
When viewing the vessel from the front side of its body, the focal point of the composition is the face of a figure, with birds positioned on either side of the being. However, the picture plane wraps around the top and sides of the body. The artist considers this composition from all sides of the vessel. It communicates a continuous and expansive, but still single, image. Observing the vessel with this fact in mind reveals that the anthropomorphic figure is arching itself over the ceramic body and appears to be weightless or floating. The feet do not meet the assumed ground of the picture plane. Birds placed adjacent to this imagery appear to be positioned in the same direction that the being is going. However, the exact spatial relationships between all the elements of the composition are ambiguous. The being has wide, almond shaped eyes and has many feline and raptorial features. The creature has gold accessories like a crown and animal whiskers. The creature adorns a cape with gold and beige circles and ends in two long fringes that frame the trophy heads which can be seen on the side opposite the figure's face. Many geometric shapes like circles and triangles appear in the imagery. The striped ‘signifiers’ on either side of the creature’s face end in sharp talons holding the two wide-beaked birds. There are two disc-shaped ear accessories protruding from the creature’s head.
Early Intermediate Period (200 BCE-600 CE)
Three dimensional object
20 (h) cm
8 (h) in.
Jack Danciger Collection
Art and Art History Collection (AAHC), College of Fine Arts, The University of Texas at Austin
If you would like to publish this image in print or electronically, please contact the Curator of the Art & Art History Collection, Dr. Astrid Runggaldier, at firstname.lastname@example.org.