Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Censer Support, 8th–9th century
    Mexico; Maya
    Ceramic; H. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm)
    The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mrs. Raymond Wielgus, 1963 (1978.412.99)

    This hand-modeled flanged ceramic cylinder would have supported a bowl for the burning of incense for ritual purposes. A high-relief standing figure with a looped motif between his eyes, which is thought to relate to the Maya god of the sun, is depicted on the front. The figure is flanked by two smaller staff-bearing, animal-masked figures shown in profile. All three figures are positioned atop the carapace of a turtle out of the front of which emerges a human head, probably a representation of a Maya underworld deity. Turtle shells were regarded as metaphors for the earth, their openings viewed as analogous to those of caves. The combination of sun and underworld references suggests a cosmogram of the supernatural realm.

    Related


    On view: Gallery 358
    Move Separator Print
    Close
  • Censer Support, 8th–9th century
    Mexico; Maya
    Ceramic; H. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm)
    The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mrs. Raymond Wielgus, 1963 (1978.412.99)

    Move
    Close