Mexico

In Mexico City, visit the Anthropology Museum to see the amazing art produced by all the diverse ancient cultures of (what is today) Mexico, and a short distance away, the amazing ancient city of Teotihuacan, and an early mission church with gorgeous frescoes and an Atrial cross at Acolman.

videos + essays

Jerónimo de Balbás, <em>Altar of the Kings (Altar de los Reyes)</em>
Jerónimo de Balbás, Altar of the Kings (Altar de los Reyes)

This multimedia architectural altarpiece took two decades to complete, and required teams of workers in many media.

Murals from New Spain, San Agustín de Acolman
Murals from New Spain, San Agustín de Acolman

Why are these murals in the cloister of Acolman painted in only black and white?

<em>Monolith of Tlaltecuhtli (Earth Lord)</em>
Monolith of Tlaltecuhtli (Earth Lord)

Capable of being male or female, the Earth Lord Tlaltecuhtli is shown here as a woman who has given birth.

Baltasar de Echave Ibía, <em>The Hermits</em>
Baltasar de Echave Ibía, The Hermits

A continuous narrative, this shows three different parts of the story, each in a different part of the landscape.

Tlaloc vessel
Tlaloc vessel

This vessel represents the goggle-eyed deity associated with rain and crops, critical for the agricultural Aztecs.

Diego Rivera, <em>Calla Lilly Vendor (Vendedora de Alcatraces)</em>
Diego Rivera, Calla Lilly Vendor (Vendedora de Alcatraces)

Rivera celebrates indigenous culture, but also points to poverty in this melancholy painting of a flower seller.

Biombo with the Conquest of Mexico and View of Mexico City
Biombo with the Conquest of Mexico and View of Mexico City

This screen offers an idealized bird’s eye view of Mexico City on one side, and depicts the Conquest on the other.

Offering #4, La Venta
Offering #4, La Venta

These seventeen baby-faced figures may have represented a priestly ritual, a sacrifice, or a procession.

Miguel Cabrera, <em>Virgin of the Apocalypse</em>
Miguel Cabrera, Virgin of the Apocalypse

Cabrera fancied himself the Michelangelo of Mexico, but chose to borrow the format and iconography of Rubens.

Atrial Cross at Acolman
Atrial Cross at Acolman

The convento atrium was a place for preaching. This cross taught new converts about Christianity.

Yaxchilán—Lintels 24 and 25 from Structure 23 and structures 33 and 40
Yaxchilán—Lintels 24 and 25 from Structure 23 and structures 33 and 40

Over a hundred lintel relief sculptures depicting scenes from royal life survive from Yaxchilán.

Diego Rivera, <em>Man Controller of the Universe</em>
Diego Rivera, Man Controller of the Universe

Why was the original version of this mural at New York’s Rockefeller Center destroyed within months of its creation?