Quantcast
Videos ()
Robert Davidson's Work

Close

Censer, Seated King

Date:
4th century
Geography:
Guatemala, Mesoamerica
Culture:
Maya
Medium:
Ceramic
Dimensions:
H. 31 1/2 x W. 12 1/4 in. (80 x 31.1 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Containers
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles and Valerie Diker, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.484.1a, b
  • Description

    Perhaps the depiction of a fourth-century Maya king, this incense burner would have been used to make offerings carried by smoke to the spirits and deities in the supernatural realm. Rulers are represented in Maya art as communicators with the supernatural and the living may have sought their continued intervention after death. The use of censers bearing the royal image may have reinforced the belief that when a ruler died he became divine. This censer is composed of two parts, the base in which the incense burned and the chimney decorated with the image of the Maya lord. This bearded figure, whose body is rather schematic in presentation, perhaps suggesting an early date, sits cross-legged wearing a richly ornamented headdress and large earspools, and holding before him what may be a royal emblem.

  • Provenance

    Charles and Valerie Diker, New York, until 1999

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
318345

Close