Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Bowl with Supernatural Feline

A.D. 500–650

Ceramic with pigment

9.6 × 16.8 cm (3 3/4 × 6 5/8 in.)
Gift of Dr. George Kubler, B.A. 1934, Ph.D. 1940
A familiar Nazca deity, perhaps an agricultural cult figure, stares out from this pot; a whiskered mask covers the lower part of its face. Plants sprout from its snaky body, which ends in an inverted head. Like most Nazca artists, this one did not articulate the body in space: the deity’s face is frontal, but its body is in profile. The artist concentrated instead on the flat shapes of the black outlines and the overall pattern of the color, using a wide palette of clay slips, which range from yellow to violet. This precious bowl was broken and then carefully laced back together in ancient times.
Central Andes, Peru
Central Andes, South Coast, Nasca
Early Intermediate Period
Containers - Ceramics

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 322, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.