Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Confronting Figures Bottle

4th–7th century
H. 9 x Diam. 6 1/2 in. (22.9 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1961
Accession Number:
Not on view
Each side of this Moche stirrup spout bottle shows a prominent subject of Moche iconography, Wrinkle Face and Iguana facing each other. On the left side of each pair, Wrinkle Face, a fanged anthropomorphic figure with wrinkles, snake earspools, a feline headdress, and a snake-headed belt, sits on a throne. On the right side, Iguana, the anthropomorphized lizard, wears a bird headdress. While Wrinkle Face raises a hand with a pointed index finger, Iguana joins both hands in an attitude of veneration. Throughout Moche history, the two companions were portrayed in a wide range of complex scenes, such as burial ceremonies, "bean and stick" ceremonies interpreted as games or rituals surrounding agricultural activities, and combats with supernatural creatures.
Hans and Mercedes Gaffron, Chicago; The Art Institute of Chicago, 1955–1961; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1961–1978

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, 497.

The American Federation of Arts. Primitive Art Masterworks: an exhibition jointly organized by the Museum of Primitive Art and the American Federation of Arts, New York. New York: The American Federation of Arts, 1974, no.39.

Newton, Douglas. Masterpieces of Primitive Art: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.

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