Gourd-shaped bottle

Topará artist(s)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 202

The animals commonly represented in ancient Andean art are wild, while the plants are usually cultivated, such as corn, potatoes, yucca, and squash, all staples in much of the South American Precolumbian world. This elegant southern Peruvian vessel in the shape of a gourd was made at a time when significant advances in ceramic technology were taking place. Unlike the earlier thick-walled, dark brown ceramics decorated with postfired resin paint produced in the area, this double-spout-and-bridge bottle has very thin walls and a bright orange-red color. To achieve this color, its surface was covered with a slip (a watery clay suspension) before firing in an oxidizing atmosphere. Vessels of this type are called Topará for the coastal site north of the Chincha Valley. Topará vessels are coeval with late Paracas and early Nazca ceramics and have been found in burials on the Paracas Peninsula.

Gourd-shaped bottle, Topará artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Topará

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.