Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Stela

Date:
3rd–7th century
Geography:
Mexico, Mesoamerica
Culture:
Teotihuacan
Medium:
Stone
Dimensions:
H. 41 3/4 x W. 14 3/4 x D. 8 in. (106 x 37.5 x 20.3 cm)
Classification:
Stone-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, by exchange, 1980
Accession Number:
1980.418
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 358
Stone sculpture of the sort illustrated here is rare at the central Mexico site of Teotihuacan, although it is depicted in the murals that adorn many of the city walls. In the murals, disks similar to the present example functioned as ballcourt markers or were placed on domestic altars set on top of miniature temples in the apartment compounds that were the focus of domestic life. The markers may have stood for a particular social or religious affiliation. This monolithic sculpture is topped by a feathered disk with central emblems relating to Tlaloc, the "rain/storm god": the three circles, the upper jaw, and the "mustache," with three smaller circles in a triangular arrangement below them. Overall, the sculpture anticipates the tall, feathered standards that were placed in front of temple stairs in later times.
Fred Olsen, Guilford, CT, 1960s–1980; [David Bernstein Fine Art, New York, until 1980]

Easby, Elizabeth Kennedy, and John F. Scott. Before Cortez: Sculpture in Middle America. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970.



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