Olmec civilization, Mexico, 900-400 BC
Height : 10,2 cm
Provenance : Galerie Mermoz, Paris
Private collection, Paris
Publication : "KunstKammer"
(M. Doustar, 2017), n°79
The Olmec civilization is considered to be the mother culture of Mesoamerica. The Olmec ruled a vast empire covering much of Southern Mexico and Guatemala from around 1500-400 BC.
Olmec religious activities were performed by a combination of rulers, priest, and shamans. The rulers seem to have been the most important religious figures, with their links to Olmec deities or supernatural providing legitimacy for their rule. The cross-legged position, as depicted by the above figure, is a characteristic format of seated rulers. Another recurring element of Olmec and Mythology is the composite creature know as the "were-jaguar", which is the most common subject of the art. This name is used to describe a characteristic countenance of Olmec art generally exhibiting the puffy, fat cheeks and jowls of a human baby with the slanted eyes and curved mouth of a jaguar thought by scholars to depict a shaman in the midst of transmogrification.
Price : 12.000 euros