N: Machu Picchu D: 15 th century P/S: Classical Inka style A: Unknown M/T: dry granite stone walls (bricks put together without material to stick) F: estate of a powerful mid-15 th -century Inka ruler C: Inka, Peru. Built on a mountain ridge above Sacred Valley, located in the heart of the Andes. DT: natural part of the mountain ranges that surround it on all sides. Large stones were cut to echo shapes of the mountains, terraces spill down the mountainsides. Ideas: building was sited so that windows and doors framed views of important astronomical events
N: Coatlicue (She of the Serpent Skirt) D: 1487-1520 P/S: Aztec A: Unknown M/T: Andesite, subtractive method, relief carving F: Aztec deity, symbolized sacrificial death C: From Tenochtitlan, Mexico City, Mexico. Exhibited masculine and feminine aspects, similar to most deities. DT: Main forms in high relief, details are in low relief. From the beheaded goddesses neck writhes two serpents’ whose heads form a tusked mask. Her necklace contains severed human hands and excised human hearts, even including a human skull pendant. Another serpent peeks out from between the legs, and her hands and feet have monstrous claws. Ideas: Mother of the gods, combined savagery and tenderness, as out of destruction rose new life.
N: Detail of a kiva mural from Kuaua Pueblo D: Late 15th to early 16th century P/S: Southwest, Ancestral Puebloan style A: N/A M/T: Paint on clay F: Depicted deities associated with agricultural fertility, such as a lightning man C: Spiritual center of Puebloan life was the kiva, or male council house DT: Figures depicted with great economy, using thick black lines, dots, and a restricted palette of black, brown, yellow, and white paints. The lightning man is depicted with fish and single images, associated with rain, on the right side. Seeds, a lightning bolt, and a rainbow comes from the eagle’s mouth. Ideas: Figures in the mural are associated with the fertility of the Earth, and the life- giving properties of the seasonal rains, which were important to the Southwest farmers.
Key Concepts and Main Ideas 1. Mesoamerican codices were the Mesoamerican people’s prized illustrated books, and they were used to record history, rituals, astronomical tables, calendrical calculations, maps, and trade and tribute accounts. Codices had hieroglyphic columns that were read from left to right and top to bottom. The style Mixteca-Puebla was a Mesoamerican style, and artists commonly painted on sheets of coated deerskin. The manuscripts are codices and they represent modern books. The Borgia Codex had an illustration of two well-dressed gods gesturing: Quetzalcoatl, the god of life, sits with Mictlantecuhtli, the god of death. Life and death was a popular theme in Mesoamerican art.
2. The Aztec empire came to power after the destruction of Toltec Tula brought anarchy to the Valley of Mexico. Northern invaders, like the Aztecs, set up warring city-states and wrought destruction in the valley. The Aztecs followed a prophecy that said they would build a city in a place where they saw an eagle perched on a cactus with a serpent in its mouth. They triumphed in battles and military endeavors and altered the Mexican social and political structure. Aztecs’ conquered enemies were used in human sacrifice and cruelly tortured. Tenochtitlan was the Aztec capital and its principal building is the Great Temple that honors the Aztec gods Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc. It uses superimposition and has seven shells
3. When Cortes and his men first encountered the Aztecs, they were amazed at magnificent city of Tenochtitlan, albeit their inability to reconcile the beauty of the city with the hideous religion practiced by the Aztecs. The Spanish applauded the beautiful buildings that shone with color, the luxurious gardens, the sparkling waterways, and it markets teeming in its grandeur, complete with exotic bird feathers. However, when the emperor Montezuma II brought Cortes into the shrine at Huitzilopochtli’s temple, Cortes was disgusted by the blood that covered the statues, and denounced Huitzilopochtli as the devil. Evangelization of the Aztecs had begun, and throughout this time, many Aztec pieces of art did not survive, as golden artifacts were melted down, idols and books destroyed by zealous friars, and perishable materials such as textiles and wood largely disappeared. Feathered works of art and mosaic-like images made from feathers by Aztec artisans were put into the Catholic Church, as these artisans were to create religious images with their craft for the Spanish.
4. The Inka figured out how to solve the problems of Andean agriculture with expert terracing and irrigation, and connected their empire with a network of roads and bridges. These 14,000 miles of roads highways allowed them to transport goods by llama and armies by foot. The Inka built stone steps and rope bridges to help travelers. They also used stone shaping and fitting and built structures in naturally fortified sites, and used abrasion to grind surfaces to a perfect fit, then laid the blocks in horizontal courses. The Inka established a record-keeping system using the khipu, a fiber cord with knotted threads, and they recorded calendar and astronomical information, census and tribute totals, and inventories.
5. Cuzco was the Inka capital and its plan was in the shape of a puma because it referred to Inka royal power: the shrine-fortress on a hill represents the head and the southeast convergence of two rivers is the tail. The Inka utilized ashlar masonry, fitting stone blocks together without mortar in the Temple of the Sun at Cuzco. The builders fashioned walls with curved surfaces as a single form, and the exterior fitted and polished stones form a curved semi-parabola. The Temple of the Sun, known as Coricancha by the Spanish, was built on the site of the home of Manco Capac, son of the sun god and founder of the Inka dynasty. Machu Picchu is located on a ridge between two jagged peaks, and it is in the very heart of the Andes, fifty miles north of Cuzco. The city was small but archaeologically significant, as it was left undisturbed since Inka times; furthermore, Machu Picchu seems like a natural part of the mountain ranges that surround it. Large stones imitate the mountain shapes and terraces are on the mountainsides, peak, and great hill. Machu Picchu was a place where the Inka could watch important astronomical events.
6. During the period between 1300 and 1500, the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) dominated the American Southwest. They built architectural complexes like Chaco Canyon and Cliff Palace. Their spiritual lives were centered around the kiva (male council house) and was decorated with murals representing agricultural deities. Their painters used thick lines, dots, and only select few colors: brown, yellow, and white. The Ancestral Puebloan people, as their name implies, were the predecessors of the Pueblo Indians. Living amongst them, the Navajo adopted many elements of Pueblo life. This includes a ritual art form called sand painting, a part of ceremonies for curing diseases. The Navajo relationship with nature brought them to use materials such as sand, powdered stones, pollen, and charcoal. To avoid mistakes in the ritual, the Navajo sand paintings are stylized with simple lines, curves, and repeated patterns. During the mid- seventeenth century, the Navajo also learned to weave from the Pueblo people they lived amongst, creating dazzling rugs and other products. The trademark of the Hopi tribe was its katsina dolls, which represented ancestral spirits and elements of the earth. Humans were believed to join their world after death. The same southwest region has also given rise to fine North American pottery. Pueblo potters created pottery with abstract, conventionalized motifs dealing with forces of nature. Maria Montoya Martinez, a Pueblo potter, revived old techniques to create beautiful forms with interesting proportion and texture. Overall, we can see a relationship between the regions and peoples of certain areas and relate it to their artwork.
7. The people of the Northwest coast and Alaska produced a variety of art, such as totem poles, masks, rattles, chests, bowls, clothing, charms, and decorated canoes and houses. Masks were used in healing rituals and public performances. Animal and mythological creatures came from the Northwest’s oral tradition and celebrate the origin of high-ranked families: these masks supposedly helped the wearer transform himself from human to animal. Haida totem poles represent totemic emblems of clan groups and show prestige and family history, and each superimposed form represents a crest. Chilkat blankets were designed on templates by males and weaved by females. They served as robes worn on the shoulders and were common ceremonial dress with its characteristics of symmetry and rhythmic repetition, schematic abstraction of animal motifs, eye designs, regularly swelling and thinning line, and tendency to round off corners. Yupik masks were worn only for single occasions and they often had paired human hands to attract animals for hunting.
8. The Native American artists of the Great Plains were very different from artists of the Northwest Coast and Inuit tribes. Plains people focused on decoration of leather garments, whether it be with quill designs or beadwork patterns. After the 1830s, United States groups began to remove Native Americans from their homes. This had a substantial effect on the art of Great Plains Native Americans. In reservations, some Plains arts continued on, such as beadwork and painting in ledger books. But as the Plains people were in confinement, they changed and started to record their glorious past and lifestyle before the migration. Also, they painted their people’s reactions to the new and unfamiliar surroundings. Plains Native Americans have since stopped creating ledger paintings, but the art of beadwork has never faded into obsolescence. Many ancient arts of these Native Americans live on in powwows, a type of competitive dance during which Native Americans can wear clothing that has been quilled, beaded, and painted.
Similarities Both are sculptures Both are religious in nature Both sculptures have a rigid and geometric feeling to them Both have details incised into the form
Differences: Coatlicue Produced by the Aztecs around the end of the 16th century Very large (11’6”) Made from andesite Combined aspects of relief sculpture into freestanding sculpture (relief aspects come together to form a full sculpture) Tribute to the goddess Coatlicue, possibly placed in the Great Temple complex of Tenochtitlan (modern day Mexico City) Represented Coatlicue, with both masculine and feminine traits
Differences: Mantiklos Apollo Created during Greece’s Orientalizing period Small in size (8 inches tall) Made of bronze Full sculpture in the round Votive offering to the god Apollo, found in Thebes, Greece May represent Mantiklos, Apollo, or other man