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Historic San Ildefonso Pueblo Polychrome Pictorial Jar - C3945C

Category: Pottery | Posted by Adobe Gallery Team Member | Tue, Aug 15th 2017, 12:43pm

Historic San Ildefonso Pueblo Pottery C3945CAn analysis of the pictorial elements is subjective but it appears that the standing male is holding a rifle over his left shoulder in anticipation of shooting the deer on the opposite side of the jar. The beard and mustache, black hat, and black clothing would indicate the potter was picturing a local Spaniard.  The seated male is similarly pictured, probably intended to represent another Spaniard.  What the seated male represents remains a mystery, as does the small container next to him.  Is it a doctor's medicine bag?  

To truly understand what the potter had in mind, we would have to be present around circa 1890 and understand what was happening at San Ildefonso Pueblo.  Was there animosity between the Puebloans and the Spaniards or was the potter having a moment of levity and lightheartedness?  I choose to think she was enjoying her play on her Spanish neighbors and that the jar was made in good humor.  It is an amazing work of art and perhaps a moment in history.


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