Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
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Figure of a monkey
Aztec (Mexico) AD 1200- 1518

Stone

29 x 9 x 16,5 cm

The theme of death became among the Aztecs, or Mexica people, a type of official "state image", with its main emblem, the skull, being depicted in many artistic media: codices, architectural decoration or, such as this case, stone sculpture.


The Aztecs founded a great empire, whose capital Mexico-Tenochtitlan was one of the most important cities of pre-Columbian America. Buried underneath the present Mexican capital, this pre-Hispanic city had a vast number of temples and sacred spaces. One of them, known as the "Temple of Skuls", displayed a great number of these elements as a type of architectural decoration, revealing the importance of death and the divinity associated with it within the Mexica state apparatus.


In this Mixtec sculpture, death takes on the form of a cadaverous image expressed through the skull and a skeletal or perhaps fleshless body. This sculpture may have been part of an architectural ensemble of great religious and ritual importance.

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