Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Howling Canine

5th–6th century
Mexico, Mesoamerica, Veracruz
H. 20 x W. 10 1/4 x D. 16 in. (50.8 x 26 x 40.6 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1961
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 358
The ancient inhabitants of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the region that is now the state of Veracruz had great command of the ceramic medium and produced a wide variety of ceramic sculptures for many hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Tentatively grouped today into styles that are named for specific places, such as Remojadas, the works produced during the first millennium A.D. include many of substantial scale and assertive presence, such as the howling animal illustrated here. It has been identified as both a coyote and a dog, as it lacks any detail that might distinguish one from the other. Sculpturally spontaneous, however, with the unpolished surface favored at the time it was made, the animal conveys its message without needing a more exact identity.
[Judith Small, New York, until 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, no. 588.

Newton, Douglas. Masterpieces of Primitive Art: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, p. 225.

Solís Olguín, Felipe. Mexico en el mundo de las colecciones de arte: Mesoamerica, edited by Maria Luisa Sabau Garcia. Vol. vol.1. Mexico: D.R. Primera, 1994.

Related Objects

"Smiling" Figure

Date: 7th–8th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1979.206.1211 On view in:Gallery 358


Date: 7th–10th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 2009.13 On view in:Gallery 358


Date: 7th–10th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 2009.11 On view in:Gallery 358

Ball Player

Date: 7th–10th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 1989.28 On view in:Gallery 358

Masked Figure

Date: 7th–9th century Medium: Ceramic Accession: 2014.244.13 On view in:Gallery 358