Art of the Ancient Americas
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Artist: Unknown

Standing Woman

100 B.C.–A.D. 350


74.3 × 36.8 × 16.5 cm (29 1/4 × 14 1/2 × 6 1/2 in.)
Gift of the Olsen Foundation
The potters of Nayarit, a region of West Mexico, specialized in the production of large, hollow clay figures, often in male-female pairs, perhaps intended to portray married couples. These figures probably served as grave offerings. This figure represents a standing nude woman, her gender made evident by her large, widely set breasts. Her head and torso are disproportionately large, while her legs are short and her arms very slender. In her outstretched right hand, she holds a small bowl containing a ring of small coils around a ball. The artist has paid particular attention to the treatment of the woman’s jewelry—necklace, armbands, earrings, and nose ring—and other body adornments, such as the circular groupings of raised bumps on each shoulder.
West Mexico, Nayarit, Ixtlán del Río Style
Protoclassic Period

Carlebach Gallery, New York, October 1, 1955; Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1958 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 314, ill.

George A. Kubler, ed., Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 29, 175, 340, no. 391, color pl. 10, fig. 219.

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.