Art & Artists / Highlights / Figure of a standing man

Figure of a standing man

Figure of a standing man
11th-2nd century BC
Ecuador : Chorrera
Pottery, with pigment
h. 40.7 x w. 22.0 x d. 10.0 cm
1980
UEA 771

This piece is a fine and typical example of the large hollow 'Mate' figures which are a feature of Chorrera art. It is hand modelled, of buff-coloured clay, and has three vents which allowed steam to escape during the firing process: one between the legs, and two at the ears. The 'helmet' is red, and the face and body are covered with a polished white slip, except for the loincloth, which is left plain. The quality and finish of Mate figures are uniformly high. The shape of the human figure is simplified and stylised, but Chorrera artists took great trouble to depict clothing and body paint, or tattooing.

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