Mayan ,Aztec , and Mexican Art Jasmine Reis Oraida Tapia Megan Houle Holly Zelano
Geography of Mesoamerica • Mesoamerica names the region that compromises part of present day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and the pacific coast of El Salvador. • The only difference between present day Mesoamerica and past Mesoamerica, is that during early Mesoamerica there was more archaeological sites .
Geographic Highlights of Mesoamerican and Mexico Some Geographical features of Mesoamerica and Mexico volcanic and seismic regions, dense tropical rainforests, mountains that reach to snow level and land fertile for crops of maize or corn. Also there is a large source of limestone used both for carving and building.
Aztec Life • The Aztec empire was Tenochtitlan and that was where they had there temples and pyramids. • They had tombs called way the dead. The city spread into 4 major quadrants, defined by two avenues that lead to the center streets and alley ways defined the quadrants into smaller squares, each separated apartment compounds with entrances and patios arranged to give household privacy. • People from far away, merchants, potters, and stone workers lived there. • Arid land spread to the east and south west producing food for all people. • The city elite who administered matters of state had elegant palaces where rooms bright with murals opened onto summer patios. • Temples had or were decorated with powerful gods. Aztec Daily Life
Aztec and Mayan Main Religion • One of the many main points for religious rituals was sacred buildings and temples dedicated to the gods. • The Aztecs worship sacred places. • Aztec religions were concerned with the sun. the Aztecs believed that one day the world would end violently and to delay that they preformed human sacrifice. They believed it was there duty to feed the gods with human blood thereby keeping the sun alive. • God of spring time (xipe totec) it means our flayed lord. Aztec god patronized the metal workers and victim sacrifice in honor of the god of spring time were skinned alive. After doing so priest would wear the victims skin, this symbolized the annual spring renewal of vegetation. • Mayan god of rain (chac). One of the sacrifices of this god was to drown children in wells. • In some Mayan regions the god of rain was so important that the facades of buildings were covered in masks of chac the rain god. Chac the Rain God
Sacrifices • Sacrifice was a religious ritual preformed by both the Aztecs and the Mayans. • Aztecs sacrificed more frequently and more widespread than the Mayans. • The Mayans sometimes sacrificed victims in wells. • Victims consisted of men women children and animals. • Mayans sometimes drowned there victims while the Aztecs removed the victims hearts. • Most sacrifices were preformed in honor of the sun moon rain and earth gods. • People believed that just as the gods scarified themselves during the creation of the sun and moon they had to do the same. • Most common Aztec sacrifice was to stretch the victim over a sacrificial stone, five priests took part in the ceremony four of them held the limbs and one cut out the heart all while the victim was still alive. • Another common Aztec form of scarf ice was to flay or to skin the man alive. • Aztecs practiced cannibalism in some religious ceremonies under strict regulations enemy captives were ritually eaten but only the legs and arms.
Life After Death • Mayan burial – The Mayans usually buried there dead under house floors or in the ground, or sometimes they cremated the remains buried them in caves in underground tanks or urns. • The upper classes were buried in very elaborate tombs. • Aztec rituals of death was to take the limbs of a sacrificial victims and then eat them by the victims captor it is done in the presence of a mummified body. • It was the way that the Aztecs died rather than how they lived that would determined what would happen to them in the afterlife. • If the person died a normal death his or her sole was to pass through the nine levels of hell before reaching Mictlan or the realm of the death god. • Warriors who died in battle and women who died in child birth joined the sun god in the sky immediately Ancient burial urn
Art Influences Mayan, Aztec art were influenced by their códices gods and by other mesoamericana habitants. Also they were influenced by europeans, spainards that came searching for valuable instead they found architecture and pottery. They influenced each other, renovating their way of living and artisanry.
FridaKahlo • Artists that inspired her work were Durer, Rembrandt ,and Van Gogh. • Her self-portraiture became a career in itself, a vast amount of her pieces are self images. You can observe a variety of moods and values: a love of life, naïve innocence, sophistication, political activism, and fantasy. • Monkeys have along history in European art, it was often called “The Ape of Nature.”The combinations of monkeys and humans in exotic settings were found in the paintings of Douanier Heneri Rousseau, a French artist that influenced Kahlo. • Monkeys were surrogate children, altar egos, and fantasy companions. In this portrait however the monkey represents Diego Rivera which at the point was divorced with Frida . Like the veins connecting the two Fridas , the blood red ribbons falling from her hair that wrap around both her and the monkey are uniting them .The monkeys paw coming out of her hair represents Diego strangling her or Diego slitting her neck .Frida felt suicidal. Later the same year they got back together. Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1940 Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) Oil on Canvas. 21x16 ¾ in. Found out of a private collection
Diego Rivera Dance at Tehuantepec 1928, Diego Rivera (1887-1957) oil on canvas. 78x 63 ¾ in. Rivera was amazed with the Tehuantepec during his visit in 1922. This piece was painted a year before Rivera married Kahlo, later on she adopted the Tehuana fashions as her own way of dressing. One of the two monumental works Rivera made in 1928 depicting the Zandunga (the other a fresco in the court of Festivals at the Secretariat of public Education in Mexico City,) his work shows he had complete assimilation of indigenismo or the usage of indigenous motifs to energize modern paintings of Mexican art. Rivera captured the luminosity of the fresco, which is augmented by the paintings large size. The solid, monumental forms within the composition, that includes the cubist foliage and banana plants forming a canopy over the dancers heads, by giving the image both an organic character. Echoing a serene folk classicism of the dancers and their costumes, the entirety of the painting is classical in design values which originate in Greco-Roman antiquity and sense. Scene is archetypical, defining a class of cultural experience.
Juan O’ Gorman Padre Hidalgo from the Retablo de la Independencia (Altar of Independence) 1959- 1961) Juan O’ Gorman (1905-1982) Mural, fresco and tempera Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City. Juan O’ Gorman was born in Coyoacan in 1905, the son of an Irish immigrant engineer and portraitist and his Mexican born wife, herself also of Irish decent. Its about Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, he was called the father of Mexican independence. He fought for the independence of liberals who didn’t want to be ruled under the Spanish. On September 16, 1810 a plot among Hidalgo and other liberals was discovered so they were forced to start a revolution. Which Hidalgo called Grito De Dolores( Cry of Pain.) Became the first of several declarations from Spain. Hidalgo was unable to control the revolutionary movement, and his radical polices on returning land to native Mexicans and other economic changes lead to their union with Spain. He was later caught, stripped of his priestly powers and, executed in 1811.
SaturninoHerran • He was hired to make copies of pre Hispanic art at Teotihuacan for the archeological survey in 1907.Giving him the interest to do ancient murals. • Our gods project began in 1914 with a competition at the academy for mural to be entered at the national theater. • Herran decided to paint a large mural of pre Hispanic Indians doing sacrifice to the gods, it was an Aztec statue of Coatlicue with a crucified Christ. • Our Gods displayed Herran’s virtues: a facile, command of human anatomy, fluid handling of paint, a fascinating handling of light, vivid presentation of human interaction, and a surprisingly abstract overall that places him in the ranks of proto modernists. • Our gods project provides a bridge from the Romanized pre Hispanic subjects of the 19th century academics to the muralist movement in the next decade. If Herran was alive he would make great contributions to muralism and Mexican art in general. Our Gods 1914-1918 Saturnino Herran (1887-19180 Oil on canvas 5ft 9in.x17ft 5in. Found out of a private collection
David Alfaro Siqueiros Echo of a Scream has a similar meaning like Picasso’s Guernica, a high level of propaganda against facist aggression , it also achieves a universal affect : condemnation of war in general. We see that Siqueiros created this piece the same year Picasso created his in 1937, shared strong feelings about war. Eventhough their expositions are competely different, in both show death, desperation, anguish. It chooses to communicate in a symbolic, dream like terms. Abandoned child is sitting screaming on top of war instruments, in a landscape filled of desperation and tribulation. Either the child has lost its parents in the war, or has been taken against will by rhe enemy. The child’s image is doubled to be seen as an “echo”,giving a scene of isolation. The red cloth that serves as clothing for the child represents the blood shed, in war affecting children by leaving some orphans. Echo of a Scream 1937 David Alfaro Siqueiros Enamel on Wood 48x36in. Museum of Modern Art NY
Ekchuah Ek Chuah is the Mayan God of cocoa, merchants and travellers, and appears in the Dresden Codex. Ek Chuah (ek means "star" and chuah means "black" in Yucatec Maya), who was also the god of cacao. The connection lies in the fact that cacao seeds were used as currency throughout Meso-America. Ek Chuah was the patron of cacao, and the owners of plantations of this crop conducted a ceremony in his honor in the month of Muán. The travelers or merchants they carried incense trough out their journey. When they reached a mountain top at night getting three stones with several grains of incense accompanied by three flat stones, in front of the first three. Praying to Ek chuah to give them good fortune and bring them back safely to their homes.
Modern life in Mexico • Spaniards came to Mexico in the 1500’s and conquered the Indians that had lived there for centuries (the Incas the Aztecs and the Mayans) • The majority of people in Mexico are ancestors to the ancient Indians that once ruled over Mexico. • Maya and Zaputec are the major Indian languages spoken in Mexico. • 75% of all Mexicans now live in cities or towns. • Mexico changed quite rapidly, Mexico now has 10 million population. • Cities are so largely populated life in many ways mirrors life in the U.S. • Families live in rows of homes built in Spanish colonial style and suburban live in apartment buildings and houses. • More than 5 million Mexican Indians will primarily us Indian language in daily life which includes the Mayan Mixtecs the Otumi the Irescan and the Zapatec. • Daily life in Mexico includes many old customs from there Indian past and Spanish colonial period. • Many households consist on an average of 5 to 6 people. • Women now have jobs outside of the home an women living on farms will work on the fields as will the boys. Whereas the city boys will have part time jobs while in school.