Inca Art

Inca art and pottery was as technically advanced as some of the Inca masonry used in their buildings an example of which being Machu Picchu, however none of the Inca art depicts their building skills which is surprising considering how advanced it was.


Around Cuzco the capital of the Inca Empire the pottery created by the Inca civilization was of a superb standard in particular the quality of the glazing used in Inca pottery. The majority of Inca designs were similar to that of what had been created by previous generations often following a similar design with little variety, however the technique used to create the pottery was much more advanced than that of its predecessors. One of the most common items created in the pottery industry of the Inca people was the aryballus. This was a large jar that had a round base moving into a cone shape with a wide neck, often used to store liquids, the aryballus was often decorated in a geometric design that had rows of spikes running down either side of the centre. Other items that were created on a large scale by the Inca people were goblets known as Keros.


Another form of Inca art was sculpting items from various metals. These skills were believed to have been developed by people from all corners of the Inca Empire using people from different regions in order to create a varied art form. The Chimu civilization provided an inspiration for the Inca people as they were regarded as excellent metal workers. The Incas used different types of metal in regards to the status the purpose of metal would be used for, an example of this would be bronze and copper were only used for creating axe blades and knives, the use of precious metals such as gold and silver were only used for ritual ceremonies and for nobles like the Inca royal family. In order to create their advanced metal sculptures the Incas firstly melted down in terracotta and adobe furnaces, using the passing wind as a good way to maintain the fires heat. This process enables the Incas to create a metal ore from which they could sculpture metal works of art. The majority of art left from the Inca period has often been beaten out of metal sheets, this is due to the fact that when the Spanish conquistadores invaded the Inca people they melted down most of the gold and silver pieces as the precious metals were more important to them rather than the artistic value of the sculptures.

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