Standing Figure

Olmec Culture, Modern-day Mexico, 1200–400 B.C.

Jadeite with traces of cinnabar

Gift of Dr. Robert L. Drapkin and Chitranee Drapkin


The preponderance of standing jade figures in Olmec art speak to their importance as ritual objects and grave deposits. This intact figure is highly polished and representative of the type. It has a lithe, slender body with flexed knees and arms extended slightly outwards. The infantile facial features of the oversized head are characteristic. Such a standing, meditative posture has been associated with the king representing the axis mundi, or center of the world.

More works of art in the category: Art of the Americas

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