This ceramic work is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris and was modeled and painted between 4,000 and 3,500 BC. In other words, it can be considered practically a miracle that a material as fragile as ceramics has survived to this day, resisting the passage of time and preserving all its pictorial decoration in excellent condition.
Ceramic Vase from Susa
And it is a funerary vessel that was found in the necropolis of Susa, in Iran, so fortunately it belonged buried and the archaeologists brought it to light to turn it into a small treasure of the culture of Mesopotamia. A glass that would form part, together with metallic objects, of the funerary trousseau with which the characters of the highest social rank were buried.
But in addition to its material value and for being a testimony that has resisted so many years, above all we are facing an artistic object of great value and extremely interesting. If we look at the central motif of the painting, it is nothing more than a mountain goat, but so stylized and conceptual that its body is simply shaped by two triangles joined by the vertices, and enormous horns that form a circle, prolonging in that way the arch that would form the backbone of the animal. And in the end all those lines and shapes are united.
The Mesopotamian society, was a culture of shepherds, that is,that the author of this painting had seen hundreds, thousands of times, goats, specifically of the ibex species. He could draw her in great detail, and yet he reduces her to her essential elements, but he does not forget to include, for example, her beards or the hairs on her tail. And regarding the geometric shape that is enclosed by the circle of the antlers, it is thought that it was possibly a kind of shield or symbol of the clan to which the deceased belonged. Although there are also those who think that perhaps it was some topographical sign to identify a place or possession.
But regardless of that meaning, the magic is in the synthesis of natural forms. A reduction to the essentials that is also carried out for the dogs that he paints at the top. It is assumed that they would be running greyhounds, and he lengthens them horizontally, creating a border, and proposing the complementarity of the wading birds that he paints near the mouth of the glass. Because in this case it plays with the verticality, but not of the birds' legs, but of their very long necks.
In short, this piece from about 6,000 years ago has the most contemporary graphic power, since it has the capacity for abstraction, naturalism, synthesis, elegance, two-tone, among other qualities, which give it an undeniable modernity.