Art/ Collection/ Art Object


3rd–7th century
Mexico, Mesoamerica
41 3/4 × 14 3/4 × 8 in., 468 lb. (106 × 37.5 × 20.3 cm)
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:
Not on view
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, no. 111.

Jones, Julie, Susan Mullin Vogel, and Emily Umberger. Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1980–1981), pp. 72–74.

Related Objects

Kneeling Female Figure

Date: 15th–early 16th century Medium: Stone, pigment Accession: 00.5.16 On view in:Gallery 358

Standing Figure

Date: 3rd–7th century Medium: Green schist Accession: 1979.206.585 On view in:Gallery 358

Water Deity (Chalchiuhtlicue)

Date: 15th–early 16th century Medium: Basalt, pigment Accession: 00.5.72 On view in:Gallery 358

Eagle Relief

Date: 10th–13th century Medium: Andesite/dacite, paint Accession: 93.27.2 On view in:Gallery 358

Seated Figure

Date: 12th–9th century B.C. Medium: Ceramic, pigment Accession: 1979.206.1134 On view in:Gallery 358