Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Standing Figure

3rd–7th century
Mexico, Mesoamerica
Green schist
H.16 1/8 x W. 8 1/8 x D. 6 1/8 in. (41 x 20.6 x 15.5 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue 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.

See more about Teotihuacan at Now at the Met.
[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

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, no. 574.

Newton, Douglas. Masterpieces of Primitive Art: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, p. 120, lower right.

Newton, Douglas, Julie Jones, and Kate Ezra. The Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Americas/The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987.

Paz, Octavio. Mexico: Spendors of Thirty Centuries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1990.

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