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A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography: Reading a Culture through Its Art
by Donald A. Proulx
University of Iowa Press, 2006
Paper: 978-1-58729-829-5 | eISBN: 978-1-58729-753-3 | Cloth: 978-0-87745-979-8
Library of Congress Classification F3429.3.P8P76 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 985

For almost eight hundred years (100 BC–AD 650) Nasca artists modeled and painted the plants, animals, birds, and fish of their homeland on Peru’s south coast as well as numerous abstract anthropomorphic creatures whose form and meaning are sometimes incomprehensible today. In this first book-length treatment of Nasca ceramic iconography to appear in English, drawing upon an archive of more than eight thousand Nasca vessels from over 150 public and private collections, Donald Proulx systematically describes the major artistic motifs of this stunning polychrome pottery, interprets the major themes displayed on this pottery, and then uses these descriptions and his stimulating interpretations to analyze Nasca society. After beginning with an overview of Nasca culture and an explanation of the style and chronology of Nasca pottery, Proulx moves to the heart of his book: a detailed classification and description of the entire range of supernatural and secular themes in Nasca iconography along with a fresh and distinctive interpretation of these themes. Linking the pots and their iconography to the archaeologically known Nasca society, he ends with a thorough and accessible examination of this ancient culture viewed through the lens of ceramic iconography. Although these static images can never be fully understood, by animating their themes and meanings Proulx reconstructs the lifeways of this complex society.

See other books on: Idols and images | Peru | Reading | Sourcebook | Themes, motives
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