< Back to collection

Standing Figure Holding a Baby

Catalogue Description:
Carved jade standing figure holding a baby with feline features. The adult figure has the typical Olmec drooping-lipped face, flattened head, drilled ear lobes and unclothed body. The sensitively modeled face is serene compared to the animated, snarling expression of the "baby" who has been interpreted as a supernatural being because it wears a headband decorated with two nodules that is a common attribute of the Olmec infant-jaguar deity. The carving may portray an elite figure holding an ancestral or deity image or the Olmec practice of child sacrifice. The carver may have used the dark streak in the jadeite to emphasize the importance of the infant. The piece is exquisitely carved and polished. Condition: excellent except for broken left leg.

Brooklyn Museum Logo