Mexico or Guatemala; Maya
Limestone, paint; H. 35 x W. 34 1/2 in. (88.9 x 87.6 cm)
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.1047)
The limestone relief panel is reportedly a door lintel from a structure at the site of La Pasadita, a dependency of the larger, more powerful center of Yaxchilán on the Usamacinta River in southern Mexico. The carved image depicts an elegant young lord seated upon a dais receiving two courtly guests, the nearest of which presents him with a jade-covered helmet mask and copal incense. The panel is believed to be one in a series of three that focus on the noble who presents the gifts. The other relief images that depict this powerful man show him with the king of Yaxchilán, the father of the young lord. The lintels were probably commissioned by the Yaxchilán king in order to flatter the noble and gain allegiance for his son. The hieroglyphs framing the figures refer to the names, titles, and genealogies of those depicted. Most Maya relief sculpture, when new, was brilliantly painted. The present example retains a good deal of its original paint.