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Kneeling Female Figure

Date:
15th–early 16th century
Geography:
Mexico, Mesoamerica
Culture:
Aztec
Medium:
Stone, pigment
Dimensions:
Overall: 21 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (54.61 x 26.67 cm) Other: 10 1/2 in. (26.67 cm)
Classification:
Stone-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Museum Purchase, 1900
Accession Number:
00.5.16
  • Description

    Aztec sculptors used specific formal and aesthetic conventions to depict the human figure. Seated female figures are usually shown with their legs tucked under them, their feet turned inward so that in the back their toes are touching. Their hands rest on their knees. This sculpture depicts an elegant Aztec lady wearing a short, simple skirt fastened around the waist with a knotted belt worked in low relief. She wears no upper garment. Circular ornaments bedeck her ears. Her hair is wound about her head in two strands and held at the top. Her face has delicate rounded contours and is gently animated. The eyes and mouth are shown as recessed ovals which once contained inlays. Sculptures of females without any deity attributes are rare in Aztec art. It is possible that this figure was dressed on specific days of the ritual calendar in deity costumes made of cloth and/or other perishable materials.

  • Provenance

    Louis Petich Collection, New York, before 1893, on loan to Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1894–1900

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
307630:2

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