Ancient Forms for the Modern Eye April 2018 - Page 91

Viru (Gallinazo) Feline Effigy
Bridged Spout Vessel
Early Intermediate Period: 1 – 100 A.D.
Ceramic: Orangeware with resist painting
Overall: 7 1/8 x 5 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. (18.1 x 13.7 x 18.4 cm)
The idea of modeling a feline body to serve as a vessel chamber dates
back to Cupisnique and continued through Salinar in the late centuries
B.C. Yet, this Virú feline with its stylized face featuring large ears,
pancake eyes, gumdrop nose, as well as skin boldly decorated with circles
and bands in negative resist patterns, seems fundamentally removed from
the fierce, somber big cats of Cupisnique pottery. Resist patterns were a
hallmark of Virú ceramics and most ceramics have some degree of this
kind of negative decoration.


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