Relief with Enthroned Ruler

Artist: Chakalte' (Guatemalan or Mexican, active ca. A.D. 750–800)

Date: late 8th century

Geography: Guatemala or Mexico, La Pasadita

Culture: Maya

Medium: Limestone, paint

Dimensions: H. 35 x W. 34 1/2 x D. 2 3/4 in. (88.9 x 87.6 x 7 cm)

Classification: Stone-Sculpture

Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979

Accession Number: 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.