Spouted jar, Ceramic, Monte Alban

Spouted jar

3rd–1st century B.C.
Mexico, Mesoamerica, Oaxaca
Monte Alban
H. 7 3/8 x W. 5 1/2 x D. 8 1/4 in. (18.8 x 14 x 21 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
Accession Number:
Not on view
During the late first millennium B.C., fine grayware ceramics associated with the hilltop site of Monte Albán and its neighbors in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca have their most significant manifestation in the vessel form known as a bridge-and-spout (or bridge-spout). The bodies of such vessels were elaborated on the front opposite the spout with raised images of what appear to be the deities venerated in the region. In this example, for instance, head, arms, and legs were worked in relief on the surface, transforming the body of the vessel into the body of the figure. The high-relief head, with its wrinkled face and extended lips, may relate to the deities known later in Mexico as the "old god," Huehuetotl, and Ehecatl, the "wind god."
[Everett Rassiga, New York, until 1961]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1961, on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1961–1978

Museum of Primitive Art. Masterpieces in the Museum of Primtive Art: Africa, Oceania, North America, Mexico, Central to South America, Peru. Handbook series. New York, NY: Museum of Primitive Art, 1965, no. 87.

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. 568.