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Seated Deity (Macuilxochitl)
Seated Male Deity (?)
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 358
Among the sculptural works associated with the ancient city of Teotihuacan are masks and human figures of stone whose features are simple and whose expressions are enigmatic. Their facial features tend to uniformity, including squared-off "ears"—here with holes for ornaments—and wide eyes and open mouth, both of which were once inlaid, probably with shell. This figure has a particularly substantial lower jaw that gives the head a most assertive air. Many Teotihuacan stone figures on this scale are rendered almost flat, but this is one of the few of considerable three-dimensional form. Though details such as rib cage, elbows, and wrists are indicated, it is probable that in use the figure was dressed in special costumes.
[Willliam Spratling, Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico, until 1957]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1957, on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1957–1978
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