Smiling Girl Holding a Basket

A.D. 600–750

Kimbell Art Museum

Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth, United States

Among numerous regional variations, hollow modeled figures from the Veracruz area of the Gulf Coast are noted for their typical smiling facial expressions and the great care given to the slightest details of ornament and attire. The style of this figure resembles that of a number of figures from Nopiloa, which contrast smooth mold-made areas with enlivening hand-modeled details, filed front teeth, lively smiles, and broadly sculpted costumes.

This charming statuette has especially fine modeling and is exceptionally well preserved. Particularly noteworthy is the meticulous rendering of the eyes, teeth, earrings, hands, and jewelry. The figure wears an elaborate headdress, the side pieces festooned with a swag of seeds. Her dress is decorated with geometric motifs, of which there remain traces in paint. Her compact body and short limbs are doll-like, as is her wide, rounded face and open countenance. She eagerly offers her basket of rolled tortillas in her left hand, while extending her right in a way that displays the long, tapering fingers and rings.


  • Title: Smiling Girl Holding a Basket
  • Date Created: A.D. 600–750
  • Location: Mexico, central Veracruz, Nopiloa style
  • Physical Dimensions: 7 9/16 x 6 1/8 x 3 3/4 in. (19.2 x 15.5 x 9.5 cm)
  • Provenance: (Alphonse Jax, New York); purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1978.
  • Rights: Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
  • External Link: www.kimbellart.org
  • Medium: Ceramic with white slip and traces of paint
  • Kamakura period (1185-1333): Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)


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