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Post with a Carved Face
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Post with a Carved Face

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Placed beside or inside a tomb, this grave marker resembles a human figure. If buried, the post would have supported the roof of a tomb of the Ica-Chincha people, who lived on the central coast of Peru. Crowned with a two-pronged headdress, the post was treated the same way as a human skull in a tomb: the red colorant that can still be seen on the post is the same red cinnabar pigment used after death to paint the skeletal remains of the Ica-Chincha people.

Pigment on face was analyzed using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. The pigment was shown to contain mercury indicating that it is likely cinnabar.

Date Description Narrative
12/04/2017Examinationchemical analysis; examined for exhibition
  • Crowning Glory: Art of the Americas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2018.
Provenance Martin and Ullman Artweave Textile Gallery, New York; purchased by a private collection, 1992; given to Walters Art Museum, 2009.
Credit Anonymous gift, 2009

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1000-1470 (Late Intermediate)
wood (probably Huarango) with cinnabar
Accession Number
H: 68 1/2 x W: 12 1/4 x D: 5 in. (174 x 31.1 x 12.7 cm)
  • Peru (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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