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a detail of a orange ceramic pot with the stylized figure of a caiman (South American alligator)
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART BULLETIN | VOLUME 80 | NUMBER 4

Containing the Divine: Ancient Peruvian Pots

Ikehara-Tsukayama, Hugo C., Dawn Kriss, and Joanne Pillsbury
2023
48 pages
46 illustrations
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Pottery is one of the world’s most ancient and widespread technologies. Containing the Divine: Ancient Peruvian Pots explores how ceramic vessels can convey meaning far beyond their practical use. As this Bulletin attests, before the implementation of writing as we understand it today, Andean artisans used the shape and decoration of jars and bottles to communicate essential information for ritual practice and to promote the exchange of ideas. The more than 40 evocative works featured in these pages represent some 2,500 years of creativity in ancient Peru, with a focus on how these imaginative works served as conduits to worldly and divine power. Providing a rich opportunity to reflect on devotional practices of the past and today, Containing the Divine also shows how the legacy of these pots has inspired subsequent generations worldwide, from nineteenth-century British potters and French Post-Impressionist Paul Gaugin to contemporary Peruvian artist Juan Javier Salazar.

Met Art in Publication

Gourd-shaped bottle, Topará artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Topará
200 BCE–100 CE
Stirrup-spout bottle with owl, Moche artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Moche
200–500 CE
Double-spout bottle with flying figure, Nasca artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Nasca
300–500 CE
Neckless jar with complex scene, Paracas artist(s), Ceramic, post-fire paint, Paracas
350 BCE–60 CE
Stirrup-spout bottle, Cupisnique artist(s), Ceramic, Cupisnique
800–500 BCE
Stirrup-spout bottle with feline and snake, Cupisnique artist(s), Ceramic, Cupisnique
1200–800 BCE
Bottle with fang motif, Cupisnique artist(s), Ceramic, Cupisnique
800–550 BCE
Feline-shaped stirrup-spout bottle, Cupisnique artist(s), Ceramic, Cupisnique
1200–800 BCE
Stirrup-spout bottle with mouse, Cupisnique artist(s), Ceramic, Cupisnique
800–550 BCE
Bottle with caiman, Cupisnique artist(s), Ceramic, post-fire paint (cinnabar), Cupisnique
1000–800 BCE
Stirrup-spout bottle with monkey and snake, Cupisnique artist(s), Ceramic, Cupisnique
1200–800 BCE
Feline-shaped spout-and-bridge bottle, Paracas artist(s), Ceramic, post-fire paint, Paracas
800–400 BCE
Spout-and-bridge bottle with feline face, Paracas artist(s), Ceramic, post-fire paint, Paracas
800–550 BCE
Double-spout bottle with shark, Nasca artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Nasca
1–400 CE
Bowl, Nasca artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Nasca
1–400 CE
Bottle in the shape of a feline, Wari artist, Ceramic, slip, Wari
600–900 CE
Double-chambered bottle, Wari artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Wari artist(s)
800–900 CE
Stirrup spout bottle with warrior, Moche artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Moche
500–800 CE
Stirrup-spout bottle with fox warrior, Moche artist(s), Ceramic, slip, Moche
500–800 CE
Stirrup-spout bottle with confronting figures, Ceramic, slip, Moche
Moche
500–800 CE
Showing 20 of 38

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