Nasca culture inherited a fascination with color from the preceding Paracas culture, but Nasca artists shifted from the earlier practice of post-fire painting on ceramics to the use of slips—suspensions of colored clays and other minerals in water that were applied to pottery before it was fired. Slips are less fragile than paints applied after firing, but low firing temperatures limited the color palette available. No other ancient American culture managed to incorporate such a vibrant and wide-ranging palette for slips as Nasca; some vessels have as many as twelve different colors. As with Paracas, a flat bridge handle and a small tapered spout—both impractical for use—were preferred by Nasca potters over the “stirrupspout” forms so typical of the north coast.
Princeton University Art Museum: Handbook of the collections, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Art Museum, 2013).
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton University Art Museum: handbook of the collections, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007).
Unexpected Journey: Gillett G. Griffin and the Art of the Ancient Americas at Princeton (May 7 - June 26, 2005)