Secret World Of The Incas Revealed In First Major Australian Exhibition

The treasures of ancient America are revealed in a new blockbuster exhibition on show at The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Gold and the Incas: Lost worlds of Peru features more than 200 works of art from this ancient world. Remarkably, every artefact that survives was buried with its owner, the re-discovered over the last century in a remarkable series of archaeological finds.

Gold and the Incas is the largest survey of Peruvian art staged in Australia and reveals the drama and beauty of the Incan empire and its predecessors, from intricate jewellery to elaborate embroidered and woven cloths, ceramic sculptures and breathtaking gold pieces made to decorate the nobility in both life and death.

Peruvian artisans used gold, silver, turquoise, shell, textiles and ceramics and as well as being highly-skilled metalworkers, potters and weavers, their works depict religious and political ideas based on the importance of the natural world.

The exhibition, staged to mark the 50th anniversary of Australian-Peruvian diplomatic relations, runs until 21 April, 2014.

Here is a sample of some of the extraordinary works on show

Llama

INCA culture
Centre, south and north 1400–1533AD gold; Museo Oro del Perú, Lima
Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Female figure, known as The Venus of Frías

VICÚS culture (FRÍAS style) North coast 100BC–400AD gold and platinum; Ministerio de Cultura del Perú: Sala de Oro del Museo Municipal Vicús, Piura Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Winged deity holding a severed head

CHAVÍN culture Northern highlands 1500–200BC granite; Fundación Museo Amano, Lima Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Nose ornament

SICÁN-LAMBAYEQUE culture
North coast 750–1375AD gold; Museo Arqueológico Nacional Brüning, Lambayeque Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Tabard with cat and bird design

CHIMÚ culture North 1100–1450 AD feathers and cotton; Fundación Museo Amano, Lima. Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Pectoral 100BC–400AD

VICÚS culture North coast gold and copper; Ministerio de Cultura del Perú: Sala de Oro del Museo Municipal Vicús, Piura Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Bead in the form of an owl’s head

MOCHE culture, North coast 100–800AD gold and turquoise;
Ministerio de Cultura del Perú: Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán, Lambayeque
Photograph: Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán

Portrait head stirrup vessel

MOCHE culture, North coast 100–800AD ceramic;
Ministerio de Cultura del Perú: Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú, Lima Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Necklace

MOCHE culture North coast 100–800AD quartz; Museo Larco, Lima
Photo: Museo Larco

Vessel in the form of a llama

HUARI culture Centre, south and north 600–1000AD ceramic;
Ministerio de Cultura del Perú: Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú, Lima Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Mask

SICÁN-LAMBAYEQUE culture, North coast 750–1375AD gold, chrysocolla, cinnabar; Museo Oro del Perú, Lima Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Tumi (knife)

SICÁN-LAMBAYEQUE culture
North coast 750–1375AD gold, silver, chrysocolla, turquiose, lapis lazuli, spondylus; Museo Oro del Perú, Lima Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Vessel with bridge and double spouts

SICÁN-LAMBAYEQUE culture North coast 750–1375AD gold;
Museo Oro del Perú, Lima Photo: Daniel Giannoni

Pair of ear ornaments

CHIMÚ culture
North 1100–1470 AD gold and copper; Museo Larco, Lima
Photo: Museo Larco

Female figure

INCA culture
Centre, south and north 1400–1533AD gold; Ministerio de Cultura del Perú: Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú, Lima Photo: Daniel Giannoni

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