① Ancient Aztec Art

Thursday, September 23, 2021 3:17:52 AM

Ancient Aztec Art

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Ancient Art Links - Art of the Ancient Americas (Inca, Maya, Aztec) at Metropolitan Museum

The first European to visit Mexican territory was Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, who arrived in Yucatan from Cuba with three ships and about men in early In March , Cortes landed at the town of Tabasco , where he learned from the natives of the great Aztec civilization, then ruled by Moctezuma or Montezuma II. Defying the authority of Velasquez, Cortes founded the city of Veracruz on the southeastern Mexican coast, where he trained his army into a disciplined fighting force. Cortes and some soldiers then marched into Mexico, aided by a native woman known as Malinche, who served as a translator.

Thanks to instability within the Aztec empire, Cortes was able to form alliances with other native peoples, notably the Tlascalans, who were then at war with Montezuma. Though the Aztecs had superior numbers, their weapons were inferior, and Cortes was able to immediately take Montezuma and his entourage of lords hostage, gaining control of Tenochtitlan. The Spaniards then murdered thousands of Aztec nobles during a ritual dance ceremony, and Montezuma died under uncertain circumstances while in custody.

European diseases like smallpox, mumps and measles were also powerful weapons against the local population, who lacked immunity to them. After his victory, Cortes razed Tenochtitla and built Mexico City on its ruins; it quickly became the premier European center in the New World. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. The Maya Empire, centered in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala, reached the peak of its power and influence around the sixth century A. The Maya excelled at agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar-making and mathematics, and left behind an astonishing The Aztec Empire was a shifting and fragile alliance of three principle city-states.

The Aztec Triple Alliance exerted tremendous power over a Teotihuacan is an ancient Mesoamerican city located 30 miles 50 km northeast of modern-day Mexico City. Aztec priests, using razor-sharp obsidian blades, sliced open the chests of sacrificial victims and offered their Aztec art history is really more of a history of adapting the art forms that were already there.

The nobles and religious leaders controlled a lot of the art that survives today. Temples and palaces were richly adorned - the carved thrones of rulers, the terrifying gods wearing the skins of humans and animals. The themes seem to be highly religious , very emotionless and strongly influenced by the warrior culture. Though much Aztec art was very realistic, it lost the liveliness and feeling that much of the art of earlier cultures demonstrated. Unlike other peoples' art, Aztec art rarely showed women and children. Warriors, gods, and the adorning of royal, religious or military objects was common.

The nobles in the calpulli provided the raw materials and the artists created the finished works—the magnificent stone carvings, jewelry, elaborate ritual costumes for the great religious ceremonies and feather shirts, cloaks and headdresses. The Aztec emperors received art works as tribute or the artists sold them in the great marketplace at Tlatelolco. The walls of the great Tenochtitlan Templo Mayor are covered with carvings of Aztec symbolism. Stone carvers created sculptures of the Aztec gods to be used in the monthly religious ceremonies. Very common was the chacmool, a reclining figure which received the extracted hearts and blood of sacrificial victims.

Aztecs in the rural regions carved the agricultural gods in both stone and wood, especially Xipe Totec, the god of spring and vegetation. Other carvers worked in miniature, creating tiny shells, insects and plants out of jade, pearl, onyx and obsidian. Artists created mosaic masks used in religious ceremonies with pieces of turquoise, shell and coral. These masks are highly representative of the Aztec devotion to their gods.

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