TEOTIHUACAN – Mexico
450 – 650 A.D.
H: 33.9 cm - W: 18.3 cm - T: 11.3 cm
Green mottled serpentinite with inclays of pyrite.
Ancient European collection since 1968.
Ancient collection Monique Nordmann since 1986.
Attentive, aesthetic-minded viewers will be struck by the figure’s unique and magisterial body.The perfectly executed piece, which remains mostly intact, was made by hand with the help of rudimentary tools, showcasing the artisan’s remarkable skill and passion.
The figure displays unique proportions, with a head resembling a large traditional Teotihuacan mask—a rare feature for figurines. The head alone represents more than half of the sculpture. Although its eyes and mouth are not open, the face is incredibly expressive. And despite the spiritual composition, the piece has been delicately fashioned. So much so that the man almost appears to be alive and on the verge of striking up conversation. The lower forehead gently slopes into slightly raised eyebrows, which come together in a concave curve above the plunging nose. A thin slit forms the eyelids, which contain large, hypnotic almond-shaped eyes. The orange-brown color is the result of aging pyrite inlaid when the piece was made. The shiny stone was frequently used for decoration. The straight nose dominates the face, its expertly sculpted wings bringing the piece to life, thanks to the sculptor’s subtle talent and the time devoted to meticulously shaping the serpentine. Beneath the nose, an open mouth presents thin, sensual lips, brought into relief with curving lines on the right and left and with the furrow under the lower lip. The gracious design is completed with a rounded chin over a solid, rectangular torso.