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Head from a Figure
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Head from a Figure

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The head illustrates the typical Olmec-style fleshy face with facial features clustered together. The eyes are markedly slanted and slightly crossed, with pupils indicated by a sharp punctate in the clay. The well-defined horizontal ridge across the forehead may depict intentional binding of the cranium to achieve a specific head form for reasons of beauty or ideology, a practice found throughout ancient Mesoamerica. Although this figure's body is missing, the head's upraised position recalls that of the hollow, infantile sculptures.
  • Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2012-2013.
Provenance Purchased by John G. Bourne, Santa Fe, New Mexico, between 1940 and 1949 [1]; given to Walters Art Museum, 2013. [1] from a shop in Santa Barbara, California
Credit Gift of John G. Bourne, 2013

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1200-900 BC (Early Formative)
Accession Number
H: 4 3/4 x W: 3 1/2 x D: 3 1/2 in. (12.07 x 8.89 x 8.89 cm); With mount H: 8 x W: 3 11/16 x D: 3 5/8 in. (20.32 x 9.4 x 9.14 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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