Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Plate with Trumpeter

8th century
Guatemala or Mexico, Mesoamerica
H . 2 1/2 x Diam. 12 3/4 in. (6.4 x 32.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Eugene and Ina Schnell, 1989
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 358
One variety of Maya polychrome ceramic vessel is a plate or shallow bowl that is decorated with a central figure framed by a band of repeated motifs. This example features an elaborately costumed musician with a long wooden trumpet pressed to his lips. The many depictions of musicians and the survival of numerous types of musical instruments indicate that music played a role in Maya ceremony and celebration. Although the only clothing this figure wears is a short elaborate tunic with a goggle-eyed mask at the back of the waist, he is decorated by an abundance of feathers and body paint. The L-shaped glyph block incorporated above the figure's face is illegible. It may have served a symbolic or decorative purpose only.
Franz Ebstein, New York, acquired before 1969 (d. 1977); Eugene A. and Ina L. Schnell, Longboat Key, FL, until 1989

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